Costco buys the majority of its merchandise directly from manufacturers for shipment either directly to Costco’s selling warehouses or to a consolidation point where various shipments are combined so as to minimize freight and handling costs. As a result, Costco eliminates many of the costs associated with multiple step distribution channels, which include purchasing from distributors as opposed to manufacturers, use of central receiving, storing and distributing warehouses, and storage of merchandise in locations off the sales floors. (1)
When it comes to outbound logistics Costco's task is delivery, invoicing, handling finished goods and orders. The way Costco handles all theses various tasks is mostly through assorted distribution and transporting methods. Costco can accomplish their outbound logistics by having a well thought out inventory method. This inventory method lets Costco markets hold up to two full weeks of supplies. Usually the supplies are
Costco’s inventory management strategy focuses on three main points: (a) point-of-sales system (POS), (b) vendor managed inventory and (c) low volume of stock keeping units. Costco takes aid from innovative inventory system that provides real time inventory information called Collaborative Retail Exchange (CRX). The system monitors and re-orders at the optimum inventory as part of the continuous re-order system. The CRX system analyses the sales for the previous weeks and inventory level which acts as information to the suppliers. Costco Wholesale follows a Bulk-buying strategy. It aims at selling products in large volume and comparatively low prices. The company also follows lower number of stock keeping units (SKU’s), an average of ~4,000
Costco has many risks associated with its financial and operational performance. One of the biggest risks that Costco is facing todays is the competition from other retailers and wholesalers, such as Wal-Mart and Target. Costco compete with its competitors for customers, qualified employees and management personnel, suitable sites and suppliers. The retail business is extremely competitive and continues to get even more completive. Such events as the evolution of retailing in online channels has improved the ability of customers to compare prices and products and as a result enhanced competition. Any significant increases of competition may adversely affect Costco’s financial performance, and make Costco incapable to compete successfully in the future.
Costco’s infrastructure skills and capabilities support operations for achieving low cost global leadership in warehouse retail sales and better than industry average. Costco’s culture strives to provide a limited variety of quality merchandise goods from private label and some well established brands.
Exploitability- Since Grocery Checkout is the only online grocery destination in London, they can exploit the full potential of their resources. Grocery Checkout’s
According to Deloitte’s 2014 Global Powers of Retailing Report, it identifies the 250 largest retailers around the world based on publicly available data for fiscal 2012 encompassing companies’ fiscal years ended through to June 2013; however, here mainly focuses on the Top 10 retailers’ analysis.
The first of Porter’s Five Forces that impact Costco is the threat of new entrants. The threat of new entrants into the wholesale and membership retail space is low. There are several reasons why the threat of entrants into the market is low. The leading reason why the threat of entry is low is because an emerging company will struggle to have the volume necessary to compete with Costco. Costco is the sixth largest retailer in the U.S. As a major retailer, Costco has the highest discounts on a majority of its
Costco also saves money by not stocking extra bags or packing materials; to carry out their goods, customers must bring their own bags or use the merchandise shipping boxes from the company's outside vendors.
According to Blacktown City Council (2014), Costco Wholesale Corporation operates an international chain of membership warehouses which carry quality brand name merchandise at substantially reduced prices compared to other conventional wholesale or retail outlets. It began its operations in 1983 in Seattle, Washington and later merged with The Price Company in October 1993 operating under the name PriceCostco, had 206 locations generating $16 billion in annual sales (Costco Wholesale, 2015). As of December 2014, the Company operated a chain of 671 warehouses in 43 states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico (474 locations), nine Canadian provinces (88 locations), Mexico (34 locations), the United Kingdom (26 locations), Japan (20 locations), Korea (11 locations), Taiwan (10 locations, through a 55%-owned subsidiary), Australia (seven locations) and Spain (one location). The Company’s online business also operates websites in the U.S., Canada, U.K., and Mexico (Costco Annual Report, 2014).
Costco has a cost (i.e. price) advantage and would be able to price an entrant out of the market. We must still be mindful of other big-box retailers that offer portions of what Costco has for inventory. Companies such as Super Wal-Mart, IKEA and even WinCo are lesser threats but threats all the same.
Another important aspect is a limited selection of goods. Whereas Walmart or Target may have upwards of 150,000 items sold in their stores. Costco will have less than 4000. They also have their own private label which is only equal to 15% of what they carry in the stores, but it equals out to over 30% of their total sales currently. Another aspect of the product selection is that instead of buying many
Costco is one of the nation’s top three retailers and the world’s largest membership warehouse chain, Costco wholesale Canada operates about 80 membership warehouse clubs across Canada. The company never advertises, charges its 64 million members to shop there and doesn’t mark up any product more than 15 percent, even at this lowest profit margin, 15% for Kirkland private brand, the products were 20% lower than comparable to other brand products. Costco works with this business model and generating $93 billion in annual sales.