There was only one chain of warehouse clubs active within warehouse clubs in the UK at the end of the review period; Costco Wholesale UK Ltd, with the company present with 29 outlets. Costco performed well during the pandemic, particularly during lockdowns when consumers were more interested in bulk buying groceries.
Despite its positive performance, Costco has had to address some of the negative effects linked to both Brexit and COVID-19. Like many other retailers, the company suffered from the challenges presented by lorry driver shortages as well as the spike in freight costs.
The Costco private label range, Kirkland Signature, is a major source of revenue for the company. In 2021, the player invested in the further development of this line.
The main focus of Costco’s strategy is to continue to offer merchandise and services at affordable prices and thereby increase its membership base. The company is also likely to thrive because of possible higher levels of uncertainty.
The strategy of the company is to continue to open petrol filling stations. At the end of the review period, 17 out of 29 outlets offered this service.
Costco Wholesale is actively searching for new locations and it is therefore likely that over the forecast period, the number of outlets will increase. At the same time, it is likely that there will be strong growth of its e-commerce activities, which could however limit growth of its warehouses.
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Warehouse clubs are chained outlets that sell a wide variety of merchandise, typically situated in out-of-town locations, with a selling space of over 2,500 sq metres (and invariably over 4,000 sq metres in total size). Customers have to pay an annual membership fee in order to shop. The clubs are able to keep prices low due to the no-frills format of the stores and large volume SKUs. Example brands include Costco, Sam’s Club (Walmart), and Atacadão. Excludes sales attributable to membership fees and business-to-business sales. Also excludes cash & carry and warehouse outlets (which are typically oriented towards businesses, rather than consumers). Note: Local variants, such as atacarejos in Brazil, are included in this channel.See All of Our Definitions
This report originates from Passport, our Warehouse Clubs research and analysis database.
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