Costco Wholesale Corporation: Mission, Business Model, and Strategy

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Case Analysis 1 Costco Wholesale Corporation: Mission, Business Model, and Strategy Renee Francia Strategic Human Resources BME 0939883 May 2013 Term Company Background Costco Wholesale Corporation (Costco) is a retail membership warehouse chain which was founded by Jim Sinegal and Jeff Brotman in 1983. Headquartered out of Issaquah, Washington, Costco has grown in to one of the largest wholesale giants in the industry. The company’s business model was to generate high sales volumes and rapid inventory turnover by offering members low prices on a limited selection of nationally branded and selected private-label products in a wide range of merchandise categories (Gamble & Thompson Jr., 2009, p. 217). This…show more content…
Costco has had steady growth in sales and earnings going as far back as 1995 as shown in Costco’s financial reports published on their corporate website. Also, Costco’s stock had substantial growth between 1995 and 200 and has shown steady growth trends since them (Yahoo Finance, 2013). Their member renewal rate was approximately 89.7% in the U.S. and Canada, and approximately 86.4% on a worldwide basis in 2012, consistent with recent years (Costco, 2012, p. 11). Costco’s strong financial performance, stock price trends, and customer retention are all indicators that their strategy is in line with their visions and objectives. Many of Costco’s strengths are held with their low prices, limited selection, and their employees. Costco prefers to hire from within and focused on career longevity and development for their employees. It was company policy to fill at least 86 percent of its higher-level openings buy promotions from within; in actuality, the percentage ran close to 98 percent, which meant that the majority of Costco’s management team members were home grown (Gamble & Thompson Jr., 2009, p. 226). Even with their many strengths, Costco still had some weaknesses. Their warehouses appeared to be very industrial, with concrete floors and merchandise displayed on wooden pallets. Costco also relied heavily on word-of-mouth advertisement, which saved the

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