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Sunday, October 10, 2021

Costco Wholesale Corporation Research Report

About Company

Costco, also known as Costco Wholesale Corporation, is a US-based international corporation that runs a string of affiliation-oriented (requiring an affiliation for shopping there) storehouse clubs or big-box retail outlets. On many occasions, the company is called just Costco Wholesale.

As of 2020, Costco ranks as the 5th biggest retail merchant across the world. As of 2016, Costco Wholesale Corporation is the biggest retail merchant of organic foodstuffs, choice, and prime beef, wine, and barbecue chicken in the world. Costco achieved the 10th rank on the listings published by Fortune 500 related to the most prominent US corporations in terms of gross revenue in 2021.

The global head office of Costco Wholesale Corporation is situated in Issaquah, Washington. It is a residential district to the east of Seattle. However, the Kirkland Signature line tag features the name of the earlier site in Kirkland, WA.

In 1983, Costco launched its inaugural storehouse (the expression utilized by the chain for the stores) in Seattle.

Nonetheless, via acquisitions, the business chronicles of the company go back to 1976 once its erstwhile rival Price Club was set up in San Diego, CA.

As of 2021 March, the company has eight hundred and four storehouses across the world and the distribution is given below:

  • One hundred three in Canada 
  • Five hundred fifty-eight in the United States (comprising Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia) 
  • Twenty-nine in the United Kingdom 
  • Thirty-nine in Mexico 
  • Sixteen in South Korea 
  • Twenty-seven in Japan 
  • Twelve in Australia 
  • Fourteen in Taiwan 
  • One in Iceland
  • Three in Spain 
  • One  in China
  • One in France 

The company has a habit of launching new sites frequently. In 2022, Costco Wholesale Corporation intends to launch storehouses on the first occasion in Sweden and New Zealand.

When was Costco founded?

Costco was founded as Price Club on 12 July 1976; forty-five years back in San Diego, CA, the United States, 15th September 1983; thirty-eight years back as Costco, in Seattle, WA, United States.

Who are the founders of Costco?

The founders of Costco are James Sinegal, a US-based business tycoon, and Jeffrey Hart Brotman, a US-based counsel, businessperson, and administrator.   

Which area does Costco Wholesale Corporation serve?

The company serves the following countries: 

  • Canada
  • Australia
  • France
  • China
  • Japan
  • Iceland
  • New Zealand
  • Mexico
  • Spain
  • South Korea
  • United Kingdom
  • Taiwan
  • United States

Costco products and services

Costco products can be broadly categorized into:

  • Cash & Carry
  • Products
  • Service stations selling fuel
  • Warehouse club

Of late, the product range of Costco has expanded and it comprises books, artwork, attire, chests, fine wine, computer software, household gadgets, furniture, bathtubs, household electronics goods, consumable/perishable goods (like freshly baked products, dairy, fresh vegetables, floras, seafood, meat), ornaments, tires, solar panels, and vacuum cleaners. Several storehouses also feature drugstores, refilling stations, oculists, hearing aid hubs, photo processors, sunglass and eye hubs, and tire service departments.

Fresh vegetables that need freezing are stored in a walk-in fridge, and various sites even feature a walk-in fridge for storing dairy products.

Kirkland Signature

Kirkland Signature is the private label product of Costco Wholesale Corporation. All the items are marketed by the company via its storehouses and official portal. The name originated from the erstwhile business head office in Kirkland, Washington. Items include mineral water bottles and branded coffee.   

Costco services can be widely classified into:

  • Costco Auto Program
  • Concierge service
  • Costco business services
  • Costco Home and Auto Insurance
  • Costco Optical
  • Costco Photo Services
  • Food Service
  • Costco Travel
  • Costco Audiobook Application
  • Costco Credit Card

Overseas footprint

Storehouses away from the United States resemble the national sites of the organization, sporting typically matching designs, posters, as well as even parking area patterns. The list of dishes in the fast-food selling areas in shopping malls is customized to global predilections, with fowl pastries in promotion in Australia; pizza with seafood garnishes in Asian sites; poutine in France and Canada; chowder containing clam in Taiwan, South Korea, and Japan; pizzas with pastor fried tortilla garnishes in Mexico; baked potatoes in the United Kingdom; as well as plokkfiskur in Iceland. Besides, the company has spearheaded a tactical endeavor to boost the product blend in offering at global storehouses by customizing goods to native preferences, providing a choice of both indigenous and US-based merchandise. 

Biggest sites 

The largest Costco outlet in the world in terms of square feet was set up in Hillsboro, Oregon in 2005. The company concluded an extension in Salt Lake City, Utah, turning it into the biggest new company outlet with an area of 21,800 m2 (235,000 sq ft) in 2015. Costco inaugurated its largest outlet in St. John’s, Canada in 2019. The area of the outlet is 16,900 m2 (182,000 sq ft).

The company’s maximum capacity outlet was located in Seoul, South Korea in 2011. Taichung in Taiwan achieved the highest position in terms of the count of affiliates and got the 2nd rank across the world in terms of sales size in 2018, after the Yangjae outlet in Seoul, South Korea. Out of the thirteen company locations in Taiwan, 3– Chungho, Neihu, and Taichung achieved positions among the top ten across the globe in terms of sales quantity.

Costco Commercial Hubs 

Costco Commercial Hubs are storehouses like the typical Costco storehouses. They are available for all Costco affiliates, no matter what the form of affiliation is. Their products primarily fulfill the requirements of business houses, with a concentration on small-scale enterprises. Commercial Hubs don’t feature the majority of customer products such as ornaments, apparel, tires, and media. At the same time, they feature bigger volumes and additional choices for the enterprise items they do contain. Over seventy percent of the products that can be procured from a company Commercial Hub can’t be available in a characteristic Costco outlet. Certain sites do feature a filling station, a cafeteria, or both. Different from typical storehouses, the majority of Costco Commercial Hubs feature a Print and Copy Hub that offers expert printing facilities. There are big parking lots for lorries and the hubs have the capacity of supplying merchandise to commercial enterprises in massive volumes, together with a consignment cost of US $25 for shipments valued under US $250. Costco Commercial Hub’s functioning periods are less in comparison to typical storehouses (normally starting at 7 am in the morning on Monday-Saturday and shut on Sunday). At the same time, vouchers and rebates for Commercial Hubs are distributed distinctly from common storehouses.


As of 2021 March, twenty Costco Commercial Hubs are there in the US, situated in the following locations:

  • Dallas, Texas 
  • Orlando, Florida 
  • Phoenix, Arizona 
  • Minneapolis, Minnesota 
  • Denver, Colorado 
  • California (Hawthorne, Commerce, North Hollywood, Hayward, San Diego, Sacramento, Ontario, South San Francisco, and Westminster) 
  • Bedford Park, Illinois 
  • Morrow, Georgia 
  • Las Vegas, Nevada 
  • Hackensack, New Jersey 
  • Washington (Fife, and Lynnwood).

In the spring of 2017, the oldest Costco Commercial Hub beyond the United States was launched in Scarborough, Toronto, Canada. In 2020 September, the 2nd Costco Commercial Hub in Canada was launched close to Montréal in St. Hubert, Québec.

Costco Business Prototype

Costco Wholesale Corporation is an affiliation-oriented storehouse that produces the lion’s share of its revenue from merchandising goods and a minor portion from affiliation subscriptions. Consumers have to purchase affiliations for accessing the storehouses and carrying out the buying. This is carried out via straight procurement and effective stock handling procedures.

The company splits its commercial operations into three parts: 

  • Canadian Operations
  • US Operations 
  • Other Overseas Operations. 

These three commercial divisions are described by operating income and sales. Among the 3, the US segment ranked as the biggest, after the Canadian segment.

Costco Management

Hamilton E. James

Hamilton E. James is the Chairman of the Board of Directors of Costco Wholesale Corporation. Since 1988 August, he has been serving as a director of the organization. Since 2005, James served as the Lead Independent Director of the company till the time of his appointment as the Non-Executive Chairman of the BoD in 2017 August.

Earlier, Hamilton served as the Chief Operating Officer (COO) and President of The Blackstone Group, a worldwide alternative asset management firm, and supplier of financial consultancy services. Presently, Hamilton serves as the Executive Vice Chairman of the company. James is an associate of the Board of Directors of Blackstone Group Management L.L.C., the general partner of Costco Wholesale Corporation as well.

Earlier, James served as a director of Credit Suisse First Boston USA, Inc. Of late, he was nominated as Co-Chairman of the BoD of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and since 2010 he has been a part of the BoD of the same.

Craig Jelinek

Craig Jelinek serves as the Director, President, and CEO of Costco Wholesale Corporation. Since 2010 February, he has been serving as a Director and President of the organization and he was elevated to the position of Chief Executive Officer on 1st January 2012. Earlier, Craig served as the Chief Operating Officer and President from 2010 February – 2012 January. Besides, he served as the Executive VP at the helm of marketing, starting in 2004. Earlier, Jelinek had a 20-year stint in different supervisory roles in storehouses.

Richard A. Galanti

Richard A. Galanti serves as the Chief Financial Officer, Executive Vice President, and Director of Costco. Since 1995 January, he has been serving as a Director of the organization. Since 1993 October, Galanti has been serving as the CFO and Executive VP of the firm. Richard was nominated as the CFO, Senior VP, as well as Treasurer of the firm from 1985 January to 1993 October. He became a part of the company in March 1984 with the role of VP Finance. To 1984 February from 1978, Richard was an affiliate of Donaldson Lufkin & Jenrette Securities Corporation.

Costco Stock Performance

The common stocks of Costco Wholesale Corporation are traded on the NASDAQ stock exchange with the ticker symbol COST. Besides, the stock is a component of the following indices: 

  • NASDAQ-100 
  • Standard & Poor 500 
  • Standard & Poor 100 

On October 1, 2021, COST ended trading with the NASDAQ stock exchange at $448.33 at 4:00 PM Eastern Daylight Time.

Volume traded Costo

Costco Financial Performance 

Consolidated income statement for Costco Wholesale Corporation (figures are in million US $, unless it is otherwise stated, e.g. per share info) (unaudited)

52 weeks ended 16 weeks ended

Costco financial performance

The viewpoint of Costco Wholesale Corporation

Costco Wholesale Corporation believes in providing quality products to all its members with unbelievable savings and assured satisfaction.

Disclaimer: The author has written this article taking into account that it offers a holistic view of the corporate world to both learners and working people. The idea behind this content creation is to assist eager students to build knowledge and grow in their career paths. However, it is every time a logical line that you don’t rely on any particular source of data recklessly and utilize them as any sort of investment tips. It is wise that you talk to your advisor before arriving at a decision.

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Kiara Dawson
Kiara Dawson comes from an Engineering background, with a specialization in Information Technology. She has a keen interest and expertise in Web Development, Data Analytics, and Research. She trusts in the process of growth through knowledge and hard work.

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