Costco Wholesale Corporation, through its subsidiaries, engages in the operation of membership warehouses in the United States (U.S.) and Puerto Rico, Canada, United Kingdom (U.K.), Mexico, Japan, Australia, Spain, Taiwan, and Korea. The company’s average warehouse space is approximately 144,000 square feet, with newer units slightly larger. Its warehouses on average operate on a 7-day, 70-hour week. Gasoline operations generally have extended hours. The company carries an average of approximately 3,700 active stock keeping units per warehouse in its core warehouse business. Various consumable products are offered for sale in case, carton, or multiple-pack quantities only. The company offers merchandise in various categories, such as foods (dry foods, packaged foods, and groceries); sundries (snack foods, candy, alcoholic and nonalcoholic beverages, and cleaning supplies); hardlines (major appliances, electronics, health and beauty aids, hardware, and garden and patio); fresh foods (meat, produce, deli, and bakery); softlines (apparel and small appliances); and other (gas stations and pharmacy). The company sells gasoline in all countries except Mexico, Korea, and Taiwan and operated 508 gas stations at the end of 2016. Ancillary businesses also include optical dispensing centers, food courts, and hearing-aid centers. The company’s online businesses, which include e-commerce, business delivery, and travel, operate Websites in all countries except Japan, Australia, and Spain. They provide its members additional products and services, not found in its warehouses. The company has direct buying relationships with various producers of national brand-name merchandise. Membership The company’s members might utilize their memberships at any of its warehouses worldwide. Gold Star memberships are available to individuals; business memberships are limited to businesses, including individuals with a business license, retail sales license or other evidence of business existence. Business members have the ability to add additional cardholders (add-ons). Add-ons are not available for Gold Star members. All paid memberships include a free household card. Strategy The company’s strategy is to provide its members with a range of high-quality merchandise at prices lower than elsewhere. Intellectual Property The company’s brands include the Costco Wholesale series of trademarks and its private label brand, Kirkland Signature. Competition 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 warehouse club operations, including Wal-Mart’s Sam’s Club and BJ’s Wholesale Club. History Costco Wholesale Corporation was founded in 1976.
costco wholesale corp (COST*:Mexico)
999 Lake Drive
Issaquah, WA 98027
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