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The company's first location, opened in 1976 under the Price Club name, was in a converted
airplane hangar on Morena Boulevard in San Diego. The company found it could achieve far
greater buying power by serving small businesses and a select audience of non-business
members. With that, the growth of the warehouse club industry was off and running. In 1983,
the first Costco warehouse location opened in Seattle. Costco became the first company to grow
from zero to $3 billion in sales in less than six years. When Costco and Price Club merged in 1993
to become PriceCostco, it had 206 locations generating $16 billion in annual sales.
Our operating philosophy has remained simple: Keep costs down and pass the savings on to our
members. Our large membership base and tremendous buying power, combined with our never-
ending quest for efficiency, result in the lowest possible prices for our members. Since resuming
the Costco name in 1997, the company has grown worldwide. During the past fiscal year (ended
August 28, 2016), total sales were $116.1 billion.
Costco Wholesale Corporation operates an international chain of membership warehouses,
mainly under the "Costco Wholesale" name, that carry quality, brand name merchandise at
substantially lower prices than are typically found at conventional wholesale or retail sources. The
warehouses are designed to help small-to-medium-sized businesses reduce costs in purchasing
for resale and for everyday business use. Individuals may also purchase for their personal needs.
Costco's warehouses present one of the largest and most exclusive product category selections to
be found under a single roof. Categories include groceries, candy, appliances, television and
media, automotive supplies, tires, toys, hardware, sporting goods, jewelry, watches, cameras,
books, housewares, apparel, health and beauty aids, tobacco, furniture, office supplies and office
equipment. Costco is known for carrying top quality national and regional brands, with 100%
satisfaction guaranteed, at prices consistently below traditional wholesale or retail outlets.
Members can also shop for private label Kirkland Signature™ products, designed to be of equal or
better quality than national brands, including juice, cookies, coffee, housewares, luggage,
clothing and detergent. The Company also operates self-service gasoline stations at a number of
its U.S., Canada, Australia, Japan, Spain and United Kingdom locations.
Additionally, Costco Wholesale Industries, a division of the Company, operates manufacturing
businesses, including special food packaging, optical laboratories, meat processing and jewelry
distribution. These businesses have a common goal of providing members with high quality
products at substantially lower prices.
Costco Wholesale Corp in Retailing (USA)
Euromonitor | March 2017
Costco: Performance, Capabilities, Goals and Strategies in the Global Retail
VPGMarketResearch.com | July 2017
Costco Wholesale Corporation - Strategy, SWOT and Corporate Finance Report
MarketLine | October 2016
Retail Market Global Briefing 2017Including: Specialty Retailers, Department
Stores & Other General Merchandise Stores, and Ecommerce & Other Non-store
Retailers.Covering: Wal-Mart, Costco, Kroger, Amazon Inc., Home Depot, Schwarz
Unternehmens Treuhand KG
The Business Research Company | June 2017
The Future of Food Retailing: Value Grocery Shopping in the U.S.
Packaged Facts | March 2017
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