Costco is one of United States’ largest retailers, serving over 3600 variants of convenience products at excellent quality with competent prices. Founded in 1983, Costco quickly expanded in its operations to over 598 stores worldwide. One of the unique selling propositions of Costco is the fact that they offer very low prices as compared to their competitors without requiring to compromise quality. This paper will analyze Costco’s key success factors in terms of its strategic management.
Business Model Costco’s business model is simple and straightforward; they offer high quality products at affordable rates. The centerpiece of Costco’s model entails high sales volume and rapid inventory turnover. Costco enjoys high inventory turnover which means that they don’t need to stock a particular good for long period of time. Also, before they need to pay the suppliers, they are able to sell it. Which means, they are able to pay suppliers with the cash derived from sales, leading to low working capital. This shows significance in financial health and good financial management. This kind of business model is appealing for several reasons; low prices can generate high number of customers, indicates healthy operations, encourage rapid turnover, decrease warehouse costs and many more. However, in order to keep up with this business model, Costco needs to continually maintain overhead costs, which will be discussed further into the paper.
Costco’s low pricing strategy highly depends upon several factors. In terms of pricing, they offer bargain products at low prices. Their earnings highly come from membership fees, over which members can join in an annual subscription and enjoy promotional rates as members. Even though Costco enjoys less profit margins, they have high number of annual members and earn their profit by membership revenues. In terms of product, their Kirkland Signature is also of good