About this template

Costco Wholesale Corporation, also known as Costco, is a big name in retail. It has revolutionized the way consumers shop for everyday essentials. Founded in 1983, Costco has grown to operate over 800 warehouses worldwide. It has a business model that emphasizes bulk sales and membership loyalty. This strategy has allowed it to consistently offer value to its customers, with a broad range of products at competitive prices.

SWOT analysis is a strategic framework used to evaluate an organization’s internal and external factors. This template highlights the SWOT analysis of Costco. The purpose is simple; guiding users in creating a thorough examination of the company's position in the marketplace.

Whether you’re a business professional, investor, or curious shopper, this framework will empower you to make informed decisions.


  • Efficient supply chain management:
  • Costco's supply chain is a model of efficiency, ensuring competitive pricing and high-quality products. The company's "No Touch" policy minimizes handling, keeping products on pallets from suppliers to store shelves.

  • Low prices:
  • Costco's low prices are a major draw for customers. The company maintains an average markup of 11%, compared to 24% at Walmart. This allows it to offer high-quality items at lower prices.

  • Global presence:
  • With 859 locations worldwide, Costco has a strong global presence. This helps the company to reach a diverse customer base and tap into new markets.

  • High-quality products:
  • Costco is committed to providing its members with the highest quality products. The company's direct dealings with manufacturers ensure that quality is never compromised.


  • Limited selection of products:
  • Costco's limited product range may not satisfy customers who seek variety. This strategy simplifies shopping but may not attract those who prefer more options.

  • Store layout:
  • The warehouse-style layout, designed to encourage exploration, can sometimes lead to confusion and inefficiency during shopping trips.

  • Cost of transportation:
  • For customers, transporting bulk items from Costco can result in higher costs, which might offset the savings from bulk purchasing.

  • Low price margins:
  • While low prices drive sales volume, they also result in narrow profit margins for Costco, limiting revenue potential on individual items.


  • Membership rewards:
  • The Executive Membership offers a 2% reward on qualified purchases, incentivizing customer loyalty and potentially increasing membership renewals.

  • E-commerce expansion:
  • With a 21% surge in e-commerce sales and plans to double the number of locations with pickup lockers, Costco is significantly enhancing its digital footprint.

  • Health and organic trends:
  • Costco's sales of organic products have surpassed $4 billion annually. This indicates a strong position in the growing market for health-conscious consumers.

  • Digital advertising:
  • Strategic digital marketing campaigns are key to Costco's ability to connect with customers and drive business growth in the competitive retail landscape.


  • Rising labor costs:
  • Increased wage demands from suppliers could lead to higher product prices at Costco. This is a concern as other supply chain costs may stabilize.

  • Economic downturns:
  • Recessions can change spending habits. Customers might shift to cheaper alternatives, affecting sales of higher-priced items.

  • Price competition:
  • Costco is in a tight race with companies like Walmart and Target. They all compete in price and product offerings.

  • Controversies:
  • Costco has dealt with issues such as illegal pharmacy rebates. These incidents can damage its reputation and customer loyalty.

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