Interview Synopsis

Costco – E-commerce Resilience & Post-pandemic Outlook

  • Public Equity
  • Consumer
  • North America

“Costco is a bellwether organisation that, when people want to save money, they shop there to save... and when they do have it, they like to spend it,” a former head from the company told Third Bridge Forum. Their Interview covered a range of topics, from competitive dynamics to digital sales.

Taking stock of the post-pandemic outlook for Costco

The specialist was asked about Costco’s kerbside pick-up pilot. Some of the concerns arising from this have been maintaining high customer satisfaction and efficiently managing the logistics. They also elaborated on whether it would take time for Costco’s customer base to adopt this service.

Moving onto post-pandemic prospects for the company, the former head is optimistic. “I think people are understanding the value of the business and will continue to tell their friends and renew at the rates that we’ve seen historically, so I don’t think that’s going to be a long-term challenge.” Added to this, the company has a “significant playbook” for encouraging customers to cross-channels, which boosts retention.

With digital sales reaching 10% in Q4 2020, the discussion turned to whether this channel could grow further in future. While the former head doesn’t expect it to reach the 30-40% figures recorded by other retailers, “there are obviously a lot of changes in consumer expectations and behaviour, and we’ll continue to see that growth in the online channel and  opportunities for CAPEX spend there to build out a much better experience and systems to support that.”

The former head emphasised that, although Costco is obviously aware of their peers, they are not considered as an area of concern: “looking in the rear-view mirror isn’t really how you focus on continuing to succeed moving forward.” However, Amazon Prime’s value proposition and whether it is perceived as a threat was discussed.

To access all the human insights from Third Bridge Forum’s Costco – e-commerce resilience & post-pandemic outlook Interview, click here to view the full transcript.

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The information used in compiling this document has been obtained by Third Bridge from experts participating in Forum Interviews. Third Bridge does not warrant the accuracy of the information and has not independently verified it. It should not be regarded as a trade recommendation or form the basis of any investment decision.

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