Costco Wholesale is a membership-only big-box retailer that started in Seattle in 1983.
Its 834 stores can be found in the US, Puerto Rico, Canada, Mexico, Japan and the UK, among others, offering grocery and home goods, electronics, furniture, pharmacy, optical – and even tyres.
Costco’s USP is the strength of its private-label programme, Kirkland Signature, which is named after the location of Costco’s original headquarters in Kirkland, a Seattle suburb. The range generated $58 billion in sales the last fiscal year, which makes up a quarter of Costco’s overall revenue.
On the wine side, Costco is one of the largest retailers in the world. The product mix consists of both Kirkland Signature wines and well-known brands, with Kirkland Signature wines regularly coming in at close to 50% less than branded wines from the same regions.
In stores, the wines are displayed in a spartan manner, with simple shelf talkers and bottles nestled in wooden wine boxes. Others are displayed on wooden pallets with cases stacked one on top of the other. No frills is the name of the game at Costco.