Costco has made its name in the top three retail giants of the world due to its exceptional service and premium product quality. Currently, it is the world’s largest retailer of organic foods and wine. This article outlines Costco retailer’s history and how it became a top-notch retail store worldwide.
The retail company’s history dates back to 1976, when Sol Price and his son Robert founded Price Club. It quickly became popular by targeting small business owners and selling bulky items at discounted prices. Price club then gradually increased operations and expanded to Canada and Mexico City.
Jim Sinegal, Sol Price’s employee, and Jeffrey H. Brotman, an attorney, launched the Costco warehouse in Seattle in 1983. During the 80s, small businesses were given huge discounts on inventories. Hence, many people were interested in launching retail stores.
The Seattle warehouse expanded to Portland and then to Spokane by 1983. Price Club was another retail store that merged with the Costco retail store in 1993 due to similar operations. The joint venture was named PriceCostco, which was also a huge success.
Costco Wholesale Corporation is an American MNC that has multiple retail stores spread throughout the world. Its headquarters are located in Issaquah, Washington D.C, and Seattle, where the company’s first warehouse was founded.
As of 2022, the retail giant has 834 warehouses worldwide, of which 575 are in the United States. The retail store in Australia has 13 branches. As of 2021, the company has 288,000 employees and 111.6 million members.
The retail store’s business model is based on earning through membership fees and retail sales. Customers need to have a membership to access and shop from the company. The company has divided its operations into three following segments: International Operations, Canadian Operations, and United States Operations. It employs straight tracking and well-organized account management practices.
The best aspect of the company is that it does not sell any product with a markup higher than 14% of its cost. If it feels that any product has a very high wholesale price, it will not sell it. One such incident happened in November 2009 when the retailer stopped stocking Coca-Cola products because of high wholesale prices.
To reduce costs, the company employs direct sourcing. For instance, it has in-house poultry production to facilitate rotisserie chicken sales.
Costco Perth sells daily routine items and commodities. The warehouse initially sold only boxed items, but now it sells garments, books, stationery, flowers, baked goods, appliances, electronics, and fresh meat. Some stores also sell liquor and wine in different stores.
Costco Epping sells many products under the private label brand, which accounts for one-third of the entire company’s sales.
The company’s first publication is Costco Connection, launched in 1987. It features celebrity cooking shows, recipes, and health and home improvement articles. The magazine is sent to executive members only. However, it is available online for free.
The second publication, Costco Household Almanac, launched in 2007, features supplier ads and essential tips.
The company offers members a range of services, such as Concierge Service. It helps the members set up electronics and provide solutions to installation issues. The Costco Auto Program allows members to shop for vehicles available at discounted prices.
They can also get discounts on services and parts in some stores, such as Costco Marsden Park. Costco Auto and Home Insurance offer a range of home and auto insurance services. The Costco Business Service focuses on supporting payment processing services to executive members. Costco Optical service provides checkups for non-members.
Only members can get prescriptions at the store. Costco Travel Service offers trip packages for American and Canadian members. The vacation package includes Europe, Hawaii, Florida, and Las Vegas, among many other popular tourist sites.
The company also launched the Costco Audiobook App, which sells audiobooks to exclusive members in the United States through which the members can listen to their purchases free of cost.
Let’s answer some of the most frequently asked questions about this retail store to provide some added information.
What brands does Costco Australia sell?
Some of the brands sold by Costco Australia are:
Costco Australia has to comply with each state’s regulations regarding liquor. The company’s most popular signature brand is Kirkland Signature, named after its first corporate headquarters in Kirkland.
Is Costco worth it in Australia?
Well, the answer to this question varies depending upon the size of your family and if you can afford to shop at it several times a year. The annual membership cost is $60, and you can reap benefits from this membership if you are a regular customer. It helps you get discounts on groceries and other products as well. Members also have the liberty to visit any of its worldwide warehouses.
How can I get a free membership to Costco?
The store does not offer membership free of cost, but there are numerous ways through which you can save money and get discounts. If you know a friend with a Costco membership, you can ask them to lend you their shop card. The card with zero balance will be mailed to you, and you can add credit.
How many family members can be on a Costco card?
Two people can use Gold Star Membership, either executive or regular. It includes one Main Member and one secondary family member over 18 years of age and lives at the same address.
Costco became the third largest retailer in the world in 2020. To conclude, the retail store business is reliable and sturdy. It offers essential goods, so the probability of getting hit by economic cycles is lesser than in other businesses.
If you like reading about business, technology, science, health, lifestyle, sports, fashion, history, and more, keep visiting The Australia Time. We write frequently and regularly about all this and more.