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 include grocery, appliances, baked goods, electronics, apparel, books, and a food court, among many others. Many branches even 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 2017, Costco was named the sixth most valuable retail brand in the world, with a brand value of over 16 billion U.S. dollars.

Costco’s biggest competitor, Walmart, still dwarfs Costco in terms of sheer numbers. In 2015, 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 26 new warehouses in 2017 , recent estimates predict that Costco’s worldwide revenue will rise to over 167 billion dollars by 2023, an increase from approximately 128 billion dollars in 2017.

In the United States, membership fees begin at 60 dollars per year, which gives members access to all Costco locations worldwide. Even though it may seem strange to pay a fee in order to shop at a store, the fact that Costco boasts nearly 87 million members worldwide speaks for itself. A spring 2017 survey finding about 47 million people reported having shopped at Costco in the last 30 days, with about 11.5 million people claiming that Costco was their main source for groceries for their household.

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