Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Costco Launching A New Store Concept : Costco Business Centre

This is a news found in the Canadian newspapers. Costco will launch a new store concept in Canada near Toronto this fall. 2 other locations may be coming soon. 

What will be this concept about?
  • Focusing on business customers. Costco's sales are split in half between standard customers and business customers. But Costco's standard stores have a short limited product range, and sometimes, formats may not be suitable or most suited for businesses. Therefore product range will be adapted.
  • Standard customers will be welcomed. It won't be restricted. 
  • New specific categories will be available: Professional kitchen hardware, office gears and furnitures for example. On the opposite, toys, books, clothings, which are standard categories for Costco won't be available at all. 80% of the product range will be different.
  • New specific services: Costco will be offering 1 day delivery. Deliveries will be held by Costco's staff. 
This is interesting news, because Costco is not really familliar with twisting its original concept, especially as it works great. Nevertheless, they have already innovated by entering the Chinese market by setting an online joint venture with Alibaba. In terms of category management, this is also very interesting as they have really worked on different features to please the shopper:
  • Product range
  • Product categories
  • Services.

I can't wait to see how this strategy will unfold, especially as Costco is competing in different market with Metro which has almost a monopoly in the btob wholesale business.