Costco Wholesale Corporation, together with its subsidiaries, operates membership warehouses. The company has operations in the United States (U.S.), Puerto Rico, Canada, United Kingdom (U.K.), Mexico, Japan, Australia, Spain, Taiwan, and Korea. The company carries an average of approximately 3,700 active stock keeping units (SKUs) per warehouse in its core warehouse business. Consumable products are offered for sale in case, carton, or multiple-pack quantities. The company offers the following products: food including dry and institutionally packaged foods; sundries, including snack foods, candy, alcoholic and nonalcoholic beverages, tobacco, and cleaning and institutional supplies; hardlines, including major appliances, electronics, health and beauty aids, hardware, garden and patio; fresh food, including meat, produce, deli, and bakery; softlines, including apparel and small appliances; and ancillary and other, including gas stations, pharmacy, food court, and optical. Ancillary businesses within or next to its warehouses provide expanded products and services and encourage members to shop more frequently, such as food courts; optical dispensing centers; photo processing centers; pharmacies; hearing-aid centers; gas stations; and number of warehouses. The company’s online business, which operates Websites in the U.S., Canada, U.K., and Mexico, provides members with additional products. These products vary by country and include services, such as photo processing, pharmacy, travel, business delivery, and membership services. The company also purchases private label merchandise. Strategy The company’s strategy is to provide members with a range of high quality merchandise at prices consistently lower than they can obtain elsewhere. It seeks to limit specific items in each product line to fast-selling models, sizes, and colors. Sales and Marketing The company’s marketing activities include community outreach programs to local businesses in new and existing markets and direct mail to prospective new members. Intellectual Property The company has invested significantly in the development and protection of brands, including the Costco Wholesale series of trademarks and its private label brand, Kirkland Signature. Competition The company competes with warehouse club operations across the U.S. and Mexico (primarily Wal-Mart’s Sam’s Club and BJ’s Wholesale Club), and every major metropolitan area has multiple club operations. Competitors such as Wal-Mart, Target, Kroger, and Amazon.com are among the company’s significant general merchandise retail competitors. The company also competes with operators selling a single category or narrow range of merchandise, such as Lowe’s, Home Depot, Office Depot, PetSmart, Staples, Kohl’s, Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods, CVS, Walgreens, and Best Buy. History Costco Wholesale Corporation was founded in 1976.
costco wholesale corp (COST:NASDAQ GS)
999 Lake Drive
Issaquah, WA 98027
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