Costco SWOT Analysis, Competitors & USP

Published by MBA Skool Team, Last Updated: August 25, 2021

SWOT analysis of Costco analyses the brand by its strengths, weaknesses, opportunities & threats. In Costco SWOT Analysis, the strengths and weaknesses are the internal factors whereas opportunities and threats are the external factors.

SWOT Analysis is a proven management framework which enables a brand like Costco to benchmark its business & performance as compared to the competitors. Costco is one of the leading brands in the lifestyle and retail sector.

The table below lists the Costco SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats), top Costco competitors and includes its target market, segmentation, positioning & Unique Selling Proposition (USP).

Costco SWOT Analysis, Competitors, Segmentation, Target Market, Positioning, USP & Brand Analysis Table
Costco Brand Analysis
Parent Company

Costco Wholesale Corporation


Discount Stores


Lifestyle and Retail

Tagline/ Slogan



Costco is a low priced discount store offering a wide product variety

Costco STP

Customers wanting to purchase daily need consumer goods

Target Corporation Group

Middle and upper class households


Costco Wholesale is one of the top largest retailers in the world

SWOT Analysis of Costco
Costco Strengths

Below are the Strengths in the SWOT Analysis of Costco:

1. Costco present in nearly 800 locations

2. Costco is one of the largest membership based warehouse club model retail chain which makes it unique among the big retail chains

3. Costco Wholesale have more than 200,000 employees

4. The company has a strong financial position and good revenue performance overall as compared to its competitors and is ranked very high in Fortune 500 list

5. The Costco brand has high popularity and good repeat customer loyalty

6. One of Largest retailer of beverages in the world

7. Costco Business Centers carry restaurant, hospitality, janitorial, convenience store, and professional office supplies

8. Most Costco locations have a food court

9. Apart from US, the brand is present Canada, UK, Mexico, Japan etc. strengthening its global presence and brand

10. Costco has a strong brand legacy dating back to 1980s and has since been among the preferred retail chains in US

11. Costco was one of the first few to get into online sales and it still has strong online presence which helped it during the pandemic

12. The company also offers multiple other services like the auto program, insurance etc. to the customers

Costco Weaknesses

Here are the weaknesses in the Costco SWOT Analysis:

1. Though Costco is present in may international locations, primary are US and Canada in terms of number of stores

2. Stiff competition means market share performance is stagnant

3. Transportation and shipment costs are high for Costco as compared to competitors especially online ones.

4. Thought unique,  the warehouse model is not adopted well by lot of customers

Costco Opportunities

Following are the Opportunities in Costco SWOT Analysis:

1. Tapping the international market specially emerging economies

2. Acquisition of smaller retail chains can help Costco grow globally

3. More visibility through advertising and customer focused services

Costco Threats

The threats in the SWOT Analysis of Costco are as mentioned:

1. Increasing competition from retailers and ecommerce portals can affect the business of Costco

2. Government policies and taxation can affect the margins

3. Increase labor wages and demand, and brand switching can be a threat

Costco Competition
Costco Competitors

Below are the top 13 competitors of Costco:

1. Carrefour

2. Tesco


4. Woolworths

5. Coles Group

6. Kroger

7. Target Corporation

8. Amazon

9. eBay

10. Home Depot

11. Ikea

12. Walmart

13. Sam's Club

This article has been researched & authored by the Content & Research Team. It has been reviewed & published by the MBA Skool Team. The content on MBA Skool has been created for educational & academic purpose only.

Similar analysis has also been done for the competitors of the company belonging to the same category, sector or industry. Browse marketing analysis of more brands and companies similar to Costco. This section covers SWOT Analysis, Competitors, Segmentation, Target Market, Positioning & USP of more than 2500 brands from over 20 industry sectors.

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