Costco Expands Self-Service Options, Plans To Add Pickup Lockers At 200 Locations

Words by Retail Bum

Wednesday's Top Stories In Retail
Wednesday's Top Stories In Retail
Wholesale retailer, Costco, is looking to expand its in-store self-service experience with the addition of lockers at more than 200 U.S. retail locations.

The move will effectively double the number of locations where customers can access self-service options, Costco’s CFO Richard Galanti said during the company’s Q1 earnings call. The rollout of lockers is part of the retailer’s strategy to better link its digital and in-store experience, and in turn, drive brick and mortar sales.

According to Galanti, half of the customers that visit its stores to pick up online orders choose to make additional purchases. Currently, the company offers lockers in 112 of its 572 locations across the U.S. and Puerto Rico.

As the retailer works to bring more shoppers in its physical stores, it is also looking to improve access to new product options at a discounted price. On the earnings call, Galanti noted that Costco has launched an online marketplace called Costco Next, which gives shoppers access to “curated items with Costco values.” The marketplace currently offers nearly 1,000 products from 34 suppliers.

Additionally, the company is looking to install kiosks in physical stores, which customers can then use to place orders — another offering that Costco believes can help bridge its online and physical store experience.

The company’s quarterly results show that its strategy of selling select items in bulk is helping its performance and it has given it a leg up on other players in the space.

“I can’t think of any company that has the buying power per item that we do because we do roughly $200 billion in sales with 4,000-ish items versus anybody else that’s doing it with hundreds of thousands of items, or 50,000 items,” Galanti said.

The company’s net sales during Q1 came out to $49.92 billion, up 16.7% compared to the same quarter last year. Meanwhile, its digital sales accounted for nearly 8 percent to 9 percent of its overall sales.

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