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Costco SWOT Analysis

Published by MBA Skool Team in Lifestyle and Retail category Last Updated: June 02, 2023Read time:

Here is a detailed SWOT analysis of Costco covering strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats.

Costco Strengths

  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

Above are the strengths in the SWOT Analysis of Costco. The strengths of Costco looks at the key internal factors of its business which gives it competitive advantage in the market and strengthens its position.

Costco Weaknesses

  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

These were the weaknesses in the Costco SWOT Analysis. The weaknesses of a brand are certain aspects of its business which it can improve.

Costco Opportunities

  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

Above we covered the opportunities in Costco SWOT Analysis. The opportunities for any brand can include prospects of future growth.

Costco Threats

  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

The threats in the SWOT Analysis of Costco are as mentioned above. The threats for any business can be external factors which can negatively impact its business.

Hence this concludes the Costco SWOT analysis.

About Costco

The table below gives the brand overview along with its target market, segmentation, positioning & USP

Costco Overview
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

This article has been researched & authored by the Content & Research Team which comprises of MBA students, management professionals, and industry experts. It has been reviewed & published by the MBA Skool Team. The content on MBA Skool has been created for educational & academic purpose only.

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