Costco External Industry Analysis

1660 Words Mar 25th, 2012 7 Pages
Introduction

Costco has grown from a single location in Seattle, Washington and is now the largest membership based retailer and currently the 6th largest overall retailer in the United States. In 2011, Costco saw a 10% increase in sales and in 2012, Costco is planning on opening 14 new store locations, three of which will be outside of the US. Costco is no longer a small local retailer but now an international company with different threats and opportunities. As the company continues to grow, it is important for Costco to understand the external threats and opportunities that will impact the company in either a positive or negative way. In order understand these forces a SLEPT analysis is used to analyze the social, legal, economical,
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Consumers will need to focus on food and necessities. There will also be an increase cost for Costco’s transportation and distribution channels that will eventually raise the price of the goods sold and decrease profits.

Technological
As the economy begins to strengthen, consumers are beginning to spend. Much of that spending will be done over the Internet. According to Forbes Magazine, “overall U.S. retail e-commerce spending for the first 25 days of the November – December 2011 holiday season, totaled $12.7 billion, a 15-percent increase versus the corresponding days last year (par. 4)”. There has been a particularly large growth in Cyber Monday sales where top retailers have seen double-digit growth in sales over the previous year. As Internet sales continues to grow, Costco has the ability to use its large purchasing power to offer deep discounts and take advantage of the increase in internet sales.

Five Forces
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
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