Nation's leading chain
of wholesale club stores.
999 Lake Drive
Issaquah, WA 98027
CEO: Craig Jelinek
Stock Symbol: COST
Costco operates an international chain of membership warehouses that carry quality, brand name merchandise at substantially lower prices than are typically found at conventional wholesale or retail stores. The warehouses are designed to help individuals and small-to-medium-sized businesses reduce costs in purchasing for resale and for everyday business use.
Costco operates 605 warehouses with 438 locations in the U.S. Puerto Rico; 82 locations in Canada; 22 locations in the United Kingdom; 8 locations in Taiwan; 7 locations in Korea; 13 locations in Japan; 32 locations in Mexico; and three in Australia. Stores range in size from 70,000 to 205,000 square feet with the average size of 141,000 square feet.
The company has over 60 million membership cardholders.
Costco is open only to members and offers three types of membership: Business, Gold Star (individual) and the Executive membership. Business members qualify by owning or operating a business, and pay an annual fee ($55 in the U.S.) to shop for resale, business and personal use. This fee includes a spouse card. Business members may purchase up to six additional membership cards ($40 each) for partners or associates in the business.
Gold Star members pay a $55 annual fee (in the U.S.), and is available to those individuals that do not own a business. This fee includes a free spouse membership. Business and Gold Star membership increased $5 in 2011.
The Company also has a third membership level, called the Executive Membership. In addition to offering all of the usual benefits, it allows members to purchase a variety of discounted consumer services (auto and homeowner insurance, real estate, home equity and mortgage services, auto buying, auto loans and refinancing, event tickets, personal check printing, online investing, money market accounts, defensive driving, credit reports, scores and monitoring and/or business services (business phone services, merchant credit card processing, health and dental insurance, business lending, payroll processing, check and forms printing, prepaid express shipping, small-business 401(k) plans, small-business web sites ) at substantially reduced rates. Executive Members also receive a 2% annual reward (up to $500) on most of their warehouse purchases. Executive Members pay an annual fee of $110, which was increased from $100 in 2011.
Costco sells products in a variety of categories
that include groceries, candy, appliances, television and media,
automotive supplies, tires, toys, hardware, sporting goods, jewelry,
watches, cameras, books, housewares, apparel, health and beauty
aids, tobacco, furniture, office supplies and office equipment.
Toilet paper is the best-selling product at Costco and the chain is also the world's leading retailer of wine.
Costco doesn't mark up its products more than 15% from their wholesale cost.
Craig Jelinek took over as CEO of Costco on January 1 from founder James Sinegal who retired.
For fiscal 2011, Costco reported revenues of $87.05 billion, an 11% increase, and net income of $1.46 billion.
Costco was founded in 1982 by Jeff Brotman
and James Sinegal. They opened the first Costco Wholesale Club
in Seattle in 1983. The company would merge with rival wholesale
club Price Company in 1993. The company changed its name from
PriceCostco to Costco in 1997.
The company went public on December 5, 1985 at the price of $10 per share.
Costco is known for providing excellent benefits to employees. The company offers the highest pay in retailing with workers averaging $20 an hour. Salaried employees are eligible for benefits after the first month of hire. Full-time hourly employees can receive benefits after 90 days, 180 days for part-timers.
Medical, dental, vision and pharmacy plans
are offered. Healthcare reimbursement accounts are available
and life and disability insurance are provided to employees.
A 401(k) plans is available and Costco
matches employee contributions 50 cents on the dollar for the
first $1,000 each year to a maximum company match of $500 a year.
In addition, once an employee meets the eligibility requirements,
the company adds an additional amount to each employee's account
every year, which is based on the employee's years of service
and eligible earnings.
Updated July 16, 2012