Costco - Statistics & Facts

Costco Wholesale Corporation is a corporation that runs a chain of big-box stores which resemble warehouses and sells a wide variety of wholesale products. Some of the different departments in which they operate include grocery, appliances, baked goods, electronics, apparel, and books, among many others, as well as offering a food court in many of their establishments. Many branches also offer optical services, gas stations, tire garages, or photo processing services. The company was founded in 1983 in Washington State, and has since opened warehouses in ten other countries. Some of the most evocative features of Costco stores include the no-frills warehouse layout, bulk packaging, low prices, and free food samples. Unlike most big-box stores, Costco requires an annual membership to shop in their stores. In 2018, Costco was named the sixth most valuable retail brand in the world, with a brand value of over 18 billion U.S. dollars.

Costco’s biggest competitor, Walmart, still dwarfs Costco in terms of sheer numbers. In 2016, Walmart generated over four times more retail sales than Costco, but this is not to say that Costco’s future is not bright. In recent years the company has seen continuous growth in revenue. After opening 21 new warehouses in 2018 , recent estimates predict that Costco’s worldwide revenue will rise to over 181 billion dollars by 2024, an increase from approximately 141 billion dollars in 2018.

In the United States, membership fees begin at around 60 U.S. dollars per year, which gives members access to all Costco locations worldwide. Although it may seem strange to pay a fee in order to shop at a store, the fact that Costco boasts over 94 million members worldwide speaks for itself. A Statista survey in 2018, found that around 35 percent of respondents aged 18 to 29 years regularly shopped at Costco.

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