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Costco Case Study Essay

Costco is the largest membership warehouse club chain in North America and one of the largest in the world. It’s been around for decades, but it has recently been on a rapid growth trajectory from its humble beginnings. In this costco case study essay, I will go over some of costco’s tactics that have helped them grow to their current size and popularity.

Essay 1

Costco was founded in 1993 by Jim Sinegal and Jeff Brotman in Seattle, Washington. In the wholesale business, Costco combined with Price Club, increasing their market share to 100%. They quickly established themselves as leaders in the industry. Costco’s sales strategy is to offer a wide range of goods at low prices in big quantities. Brand-name items are offered at a discount to memberships for this reason. To purchase its products, customers must pay an annual membership fee. Their primary concern is customer happiness while also offering a certain price for their members. They’ve been able to keep a big client base by balancing both small- and large-business requirements.

Problem Statement

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Costco might improve its shareholders return on investment by making changes to its business model. They are currently winning with their clients and employees, but they must expand their potential and revenue. Costco aims to capture a larger portion of the market from Sam’s Club, their top opponent. By continuing with their growth strategy and opening additional warehouses, increasing membership, and updating their merchandising methods, they may drive members to shop more frequently.


Costco currently has 429 warehouses in the United States, 82 warehouses in Canada, and 81 warehouses throughout the world. * In the United States, comparable warehouse sales increased by 7% and 16% internationally. * Net income rose 14.2 percent.

Costco currently has 92,000 full-time and 72,000 part-time workers. * Gold star: 25,000 points Business: 6300 points Business Add-On Primary: 4,000 points Additional card holders: 28,700 percent gross margin has improved by 10. 69 percent as a proportion of net sales


By raising membership fees, Costco may boost income. * Removing the 15% on product markups can also increase revenue. Revenues may be improved by limiting the number of individuals who receive health benefits.


Costco should be encouraged to modify their employee compensation, benefits packages, and price hikes.


The suggested modifications can be implemented gradually across the organization. The most straightforward method to raise membership fees would be to start with it. Negotiating new insurance rates for staff benefits will assist lower these expenses. Costco may need to pay workers less in order to compete on a level playing field with Sam’s Club when it comes to salaries.


Costco’s aim is to expand its business by opening warehouses, employing marketing methods to boost consumer purchase, and increasing membership. These efforts are meant to result in a higher return on investment for investors. Costco has prioritized client gratification and employee happiness over the years, which has helped them increase their profits year after year without having to build many stores like as Wal-Mart (3,800 vs. 417). While Costco has 417 US warehouse locations, Wal-Mart has 3,800.

In the UK and South Africa, for example, Wal-Mart has been aggressive in pursuing international acquisitions, with the goal of boosting employee engagement. Costco’s members do a larger percentage of their purchases at Costco in order to attract more people. To encourage members to visit more stores, CEO Craig Jelinek has kept prices low and added extra service regions such as vision centers. They want to thank these members by letting them purchase major-ticket items at a tremendous discount. (Townsend, 2012)

The members will be compelled to return on a weekly or monthly basis in order to purchase these special offers. For years, Costco has referred to it as a “treasure hunt” to explain why up to a fifth of its stock is limited-quantity items that are available for only a week or so. (Gibson, 2011) This approach appears promising, but it will require adjustments.


Costco is a membership-based business that sells everything from food to cars. Currently, the company has about 64 million cardholders and members. The firm has succeeded in delivering excellent customer service, resulting in members renewing their subscriptions. Within a month of starting date, employees receive a variety of benefits. Employees are looked after by their colleagues, and the organization looks after its staff.

Costco’s headquarters are located in San Diego, California. It is a company that sells food at prices significantly lower than those charged by other merchants. Costco has established itself as a reliable market leader with excellent service standards. Its success is evidenced by the fact that it has won numerous awards for its workplace environment and culture. Costco provides customers with one-time chances to buy goods and services that aren’t available elsewhere. The goods sold to Costco members have great value because they are of high quality and low cost. Because of the variety and quality of the items offered, they continue to dominate the retail wholesaler industry.

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Costco is having a harder time sourcing sufficient products in the present economy. Due to a drop in disposable income, shoppers are not purchasing high-ticket items. With the growth of single-parent families, demand for big volume purchases has decreased. The high-volume low-cost marketing approach has continued to operate effectively, but the economic recession has slowed its development. Costco pays its employees a greater wage than Sam’s does. These workers also receive a number of generous perks as part of their compensation package.

Costs like these have resulted in a decline in revenue. It will be tough for them to keep their profit margin up under the circumstances. Any decrease in membership renewals would result in revenues dropping. The goal of expanding warehouses might jeopardize their existing locations. Expenses associated with constructing the warehouse may have an adverse impact on sales during such difficult economic times. While they currently operate fewer warehouses than Sam’s Club, this is not the greatest moment to expand.


Costco’s position in the retail world is about to get a lot stronger. With more than 400 varieties of dog food, Costco has the potential to continue to diversify their product line. To increase profits and steal customers from rivals, Costco might improve its business model. Consumers are becoming more selective when it comes to discounters like Costco and Wal-Mart. In response to increased competition from Costco, Wal-Mart has seen an increase in competitiveness.

Despite efforts by rival Sam’s Club, a subsidiary of Wal-Mart Stores Inc., to boost goods in its warehouses, Costco continues to rack up more money from fewer outlets in the United States. (Zimmerman, 2011) Costco may steal members away from Sam’s Club if it delivers value. There are still ways for Costco to grow the number of warehouses it operates.

This is a key component of Costco’s growth strategy, which aims to help it grow its customer base. There are reasonable growth strategies that will benefit Costco. Through international expansion and leadership in social responsibility, they may improve their brand internationally.


Costco’s greatest worry is the risk of future economic downturns. Customers are becoming more picky about their disposable income and have chosen to downsize. Because of current economic conditions, smaller quantities items have grown in popularity. Costco will be forced to compete with other vendors on pricing as a result of price competition among customers and providers.

Because of its position as a warehouse club that caters to largely higher-end clients while still having a reputation for providing decent pricing, Costco must walk a careful line between absorbing charges and passing them on to consumers. International competition is riskier than ever before since it entails economic instability abroad. While Sam’s Club and BJ’s have grown in number, they are still small compared with Costco. Even though Sam’s Club has more locations than BJ’s, the latter remains an established brand.


As a result of Costco’s low prices, its membership fees have remained relatively cheap. We recommend that Costco raise membership costs. “While the higher fees may add 20 to 25 cents to earnings per share in the next two years as memberships are renewed, Janney analyst David Strasser expects half of the fee hike to go towards lowering prices,” says Wohl (2011). Employee pay should be competitively adjusted in relation to their competitors.

To cut costs, the number of employees receiving benefits was reduced. We propose that Costco’s income tax at 20% be applied to the product markups rather than 15%. Implementation of these suggestions will result in greater company earnings and a higher return on investment for shareholders.


With this in mind, the situation is far different. If you are planning on investing in a cryptocurrency mining farm then it’s important that you have some hard facts to go on before making your decision. You don’t want to get into something that doesn’t make sense for your business and will just sit there doing nothing!

Essay 2

Costco Wholesale Corporation is a membership-based firm based in Issaquah, Washington, US. The business sells a variety of items such as televisions, computers, camcorders, and phones. In addition to this, the company offers services such as website design and online solutions, mortgage shopping and financing, company medical insurance plans for employees, and payroll services. The organization’s goal was to provide high-quality goods at reasonable costs to its members.

Current situation

The company’s competitive advantages include its business methods, customer service and a diversified trade model.

Strategy elements

The company’s goal is to provide high-quality goods and services at low costs, thus providing value for money. The foundation of Costco’s strategy is low prices and a restricted selection of items. Further, in operations, Costco employs treasure-hunt merchandising as a useful technique. The company may buy high-end items and services on the gray economy from vendors with the aim of reducing surpluses through treasure-hunt merchandising.

Competitive approach

The company’s low-cost leadership strategy was achieved through efficient handling and storage pricing, the implementation of a just-in-time stocking method, and the maintenance of stock. The firm also offers exceptional value bundles that help to attract large numbers of consumers. The firm does little marketing, so it incurs few costs.

The business model

The firm’s current business model is built around the sale of restricted categories of trademarked national stock, with anticipated high profits from vending and fast stock returns.

In reality, the firm’s just-in-time stock, minimal inventory management, large-scale purchases, and fast delivery systems have allowed it to earn better revenues from its operations. Furthermore, the company’s treasure-hunt items have helped form a system that attracts a lot of consumers.

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Analysis. The macro-environment

PEST analysis is utilized by Costco Corporation in the assessment of its broader environment.

Political aspects

The business recognizes the essential roles that the political and legal sectors play in ensuring high status, success, and trust in its operations. As a result, the company follows both corporate ethics as well as international trade rules set by various organizations. The company provides products and services that meet global quality standards while also catering to customer wants all around the world.

Economic aspects

The reputation of the firm appeals to a large number of customers, resulting in greater income. Furthermore, the business continues to deliver high-quality products and services to its customers. Furthermore, by establishing numerous firms across various countries, the organization has grown significantly economically powerful and competitive with similar businesses in the market.

Socio-cultural aspects

Costco’s success and productivity are both influenced by cultural factors. To begin with, the company recognizes the value of its employees’ ideas and convictions without bias. In addition, the company delivers high-quality goods and services to fulfill its client’s social assurance.

Technological aspects

Modern technology in businesses guarantees efficiency and competitiveness. Costco is at the forefront of utilizing current technology to develop innovative goods that satisfy the demands of clients. Additionally, the firm’s website allows consumers to learn more about the company’s products and services.

Key success factors

The company’s business strategy is critical to determining its success. The firm recognizes a cultural perspective by seizing possibilities in various locations. In addition, the company’s circular vision plays a significant role in the reinvention of ideas that leads to efficient product delivery.

In the process of understanding this, it is worth noting that Samsung runs a corporation with a vision from which KPI’s have been derived. As a consequence, Samsung’s drive has been critical in developing an environment conducive to partnerships and the creation of current value models. Entrepreneurial spirit and working for a cause are also significant in communicating ideas that result in greater accomplishments.

Strategic group map

Costco is a membership-based wholesale grocery club with approximately 500,000 members in the United States and Canada. It has nearly 500 locations throughout North America. Customers can shop for a wide range of items at low costs as well as get meal plans from the many cafeterias on site. The company’s primary rival is Sam’s Club, which has over 1,000 stores across the United States and Canada. Costco offers reliable services that are less expensive than those from other online retailers.

Costco is the largest, with revenue of $70 billion. Sam’s Club comes in second at $45 billion, followed by BJ’s Club ($10 billion). Costco’s sales have fallen 6%, Sam’s has dropped 4.5%, and BJ’s has decreased 3.5%. The number of Sam’s Club stores has increased to 590, compared to 503 for Costco, while the number of stores for BJ’S is 170.

To gain competitive advantage, the businesses are utilizing a variety of current methods. Costco has expanded its operations across countries, while Sam’s Club has 20 new stores in the United States. The BJ’s Club focuses on both retail consumers and big-ticket items.

Porter’s five forces

  • New market entrants. The firm enjoys a competitive advantage over rivals due to high market entry barriers, minimal new company competition, and diverse goods at low prices.
  • Competitive rivalry. The business competes with other firms, such as Sam’s Club, for a share of the market. The delivery series is extremely easy to replicate, leading to economies of scale. Many companies’ low-cost methods have yielded little revenue for the company.
  • Supplier power. The business has a good working relationship with its vendors, who offer big quantities of items at low costs.
  • Purchasing power. The firm has a high purchasing power, a concentrated market and buyers who are able to move about.
  • Substitutes. The consumers get a lot of value from the inexpensive purchases as well as premium upkeep, and there is no pressing demand for substitute.


The company should alter its practices to compensate for the mistakes in its operations. For instance, rather of restricting choices to only 4000 items, the firm should diversify product offerings to expand the customer base. Second, the firm should establish many warehouses across the world to combat rising competition like that provided by Sam’s Club, which might capture a large share of the market. Thirdly, because rivals are employing low-cost methods, diversifying applied cost and pricing strategies is necessary.

Essay 3

Environmental scans in business are critical because they aid in the strategy development process, which has a direct influence on company success. Value creation and growth is an important component of any plan aimed at gaining and maintaining competitive advantages against any rival’s competition.

The most important method for ensuring your company’s success in the long run is through comprehensive business planning and analysis, which must take into account financial record keeping and any changes needed to manage the process, as well as external sources’ activity and status. Keep in mind that obtaining external commercial intelligence must follow ethical practices and procedures; failing to do so may lead to unethical behavior and consequences.

Because of their adherence, certain businesses are able to endure and succeed, laying the foundation for legacies that lead to industry dominance and prominence. There is a comprehensive global analysis during environmental scanning of a firm. This involves businesses, markets, customers, industries, and sectors with the same market. For this study will examine trends in business technology events successes and expectations. Let us begin by comparing Costco’s values to Sam’s Club values. Kirkland is a brand name developed by Costco. The Costco standard for the Kirkland brand is for it to be equivalent or superior than national brands.

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The primary aim of the maximum competing objective is to achieve continual product improvement. The internal Costco research team revisits the topic of product quality and price comparison on a regular basis. Sam’s club is a division of the Walmart Corporation. Despite the fact that Sam’s and Costco are in close competition, there is a huge gap when it comes to product expectations and supplier preference research. Costco is similar to Sam’s Club, but compared to previous comparisons, it has outperformed many firms in the same bulk industry.

Costco and Sam’s Club have great programs for their employees and a positive team spirit, which has both firms at an excellent position to overall company performance. Environmental Scanning Costco is known as the anti-Wal-Mart. According to 2005 research, Wal-Mart appeared unstoppable, causing conflict for small local businesses and destroying many of them. Wal-Mart is a relentless machine that generates $247 billion in sales each year and has grown by 15% each year since 2002.

Wal-Mart has been known to bankrupt businesses like Kmart. Costco, the company that has shaken Wal-Mart’s reign, is a rival that has ignited debate in business procedures. Costco is about 30% the size of Wal-Mart and competes for customers against Sam’s approach to bulk sales. Sam’s has ceased fighting among itself for first place.

Since the formation of Sam’s Club in 1983, it has undergone five CEOs and incorporated a variety of techniques in an effort to gain control over top company command. All of these stratagems have been frustrated by Costco’s plethora of visual space and prestigious options. Consider some numbers: Sam’s Club currently has 532 stores in the United States, whereas Costco (the warehouse club founded by Wal-Mart) has 312 (Helyar, 2003).

When we look at Costco and Sam’s Clubs from a PEST analysis, we can discover that they have applications and dues that apply to both. The necessary attention to the Better Business Bureau rules that apply to both is addressed. If there is a violation of a client’s legal rights, the Better Business Bureau can step in and assist with paying back any dues or compensation. Services must also be carried out in a way that respects people’s rights and dignity.

Recalls are a legal process that can be utilized to resolve problems in a just manner. The Food and Drug Administration will intervene to enforce ethical and moral behavior on items, such as food and all types of medications. Regulations are in place for a reason: they must be followed by both businesses. Costco has had a superior record than Sam’s club when it comes to purchasing such products from suppliers.

When it comes to quality in items, Costco outperforms Sam’s. The emphasis on voluntary attention given to superior goods that is advertised and frequently reported by Costco is testimony to this fact. Costco promises that its meat products have received the most humane treatment feasible and are free of the greatest amount of growth hormone contamination possible. To fulfill their liquor licensing obligations, Costco and Sam’s provide a wide range of alcoholic beverages.

In many cases, both provide a competing element to this property. Like all businesses that provide consumable goods, Costco and Sam’s must follow the health inspection requirements of individual states. Both firms have avoided difficulties in these areas because to their position in business affairs. The CEO of Costco, James D. Senegal, is adamant that mistakes will occur but that they must be recovered with a team effort to improve. This is what has fueled the company’s success and set it on track for greater things ahead.

According to Senegal (2003), “We believe that when you take care of your clients and employees, your shareholders will be rewarded in the long run. I’m one of them; I’m concerned about the stock price. But we’re not going to do anything for a quarter’s sake that would tear down the foundation of our business and what we stand for.” Some Costco procedures are frequently lampooned; Costco has shown to survive by responding to client needs and desires.

Finally, even as Costco was criticized for certain choices, Senegal has chosen to overcome the difficulty by examining and improving the product and advertising of services. For example, Rotisserie chicken sales thousands of units proved to make a difference. Small decisions and tactics like these helped to elevate Costco above Sam’s. However, there is also a good side to all this. Health benefits and job creation have both improved as a result of recorded changes. Rather of the advised wage reduction, a decision was taken to improve stakeholder, shareholder, and employee treatment. As a result, by evidence of consumer survey satisfaction, you may observe visible and internal improvements in every Costco component.

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