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  • - [Narrator] If you've ever shopped at Costco

  • you may have noticed that it's a little different.

  • - Costco is not engineered for a quick shopping trip.

  • It is exactly the opposite.

  • - [Narrator] This is the economics of Costco.

  • - It's not a grocery store.

  • It's not a small corner store.

  • It's huge, it's cavernous.

  • The ceiling is high.

  • Goods are literally stacked on pallets up to the,

  • almost the ceiling.

  • That's all part of the model and the experience.

  • - I got a Costco hall.

  • The first think we got is a five dozen of eggs.

  • Then we've got salmon...

  • - [Narrator] Unlike most stores, there are no aisle signs

  • or in store maps to help direct shoppers.

  • Instead aisles are simply numbered.

  • What's more Costco, constantly moves some

  • of its products and cycles in new products.

  • So what gives?

  • Why are Costco stores designed this way

  • and how has it helped the company grow

  • into the retail behemoth that it is today?

  • - Costco is a big fan of using treasure hunt retail

  • psychology to draw you in, which is basically having items

  • on the shelf that are at a like wow price

  • because there's such a good discount

  • or they're just really interesting

  • and they're not gonna be there forever.

  • - [Narrator] The big idea behind Costco's

  • treasure hunt strategy is that by encouraging customers

  • to explore and ensuring that there's always a new batch

  • of interesting deals, customers end up shopping longer

  • and buying more products.

  • - [Woman] Today, I went to Costco thinking I was just gonna

  • get a few items, but I ended up with the whole entire cart.

  • - When you go into the store, it doesn't feel the same

  • as the last time you were there.

  • And so you have a sense of urgency about purchasing

  • and also just a sense of wanting to come back,

  • right and check out what's going on.

  • If it was the same, every time you might not come as often.

  • - [Narrator] Today, Costco is one of the world's largest

  • retailers boasting over 803 locations and 275,000 employees.

  • - Costco was part of sort of this early warehouse club

  • concept which was really about, instead of like

  • go to the store buy a single item,

  • come to the store, pay membership

  • and maybe you're a small business

  • and we'll offer you wholesale prices,

  • basically lower prices.

  • - [Narrator] Most members pay an annual fee of $60

  • for the basic plan.

  • The customers can upgrade to the executive membership

  • which is more perks for $120 a year.

  • Membership dues are also how Costco makes most of its money.

  • - I think Costco's management's main goal

  • is always this ethos of, can we offer more exciting items

  • at a better price to keep memberships growing?

  • The model is make money on the membership,

  • sell things as cheaply as possible.

  • They can't just raise the price on something

  • to increase the profit that's against the internal code.

  • And so that also includes things like let's save money

  • in how much time we spend putting products on shelves.

  • So that's part of the reason why you see these pallets

  • of goods stacked up to the ceiling is there's not a lot

  • of time spent taking apart those pallets,

  • putting each individual product on the shelf.

  • If they eliminate that there's a little bit

  • of labor savings, there's some time savings

  • because they're just putting all that stuff out on a pallet

  • and you take it.

  • - [Narrator] Costco says that an average item

  • in the store is only marked up 11% compared to the 25

  • to 50% often seen in retail.

  • This commitment to low prices hasn't just kept customers

  • loyal, it has also helps spread the brand.

  • - There's a psychology to finding a deal

  • that's very satisfying for people

  • and people enjoy the product selection at Costco.

  • They have very skilled merchants that usually

  • have been employed there for a very long time

  • and really know what a Costco customer likely would want.

  • And they're good at getting good prices on those products.

  • - I got premier protein flavor vanilla.

  • - And that sort of creates a certain frenzy

  • around finding those things.

  • - I got the Kirkland brand microwave popcorn.

  • I got two packs of bottled water.

  • - [Narrator] Most retailers might assume

  • that shoppers want more choices, not less.

  • - They sell a limited number of items.

  • So that means they have to be pretty precise.

  • They think about like giving space to a product

  • in their store differently than a Walmart would.

  • And if that product doesn't sell

  • like it's out of there, it's very cutthroat.

  • If you're a product on the shelf

  • you have to earn your place.

  • - [Narrator] The average Costco warehouse

  • stock's about 3,700 products at any given time.

  • Less than 1/10 of most supermarkets, 40 to 50,000 items.

  • But even though Costco stocks fewer items

  • the items they do stock have a reputation.

  • - I see you've notice me rolling up the sleeves

  • on my new Kirkland signature quarters

  • that my mother got me for the holidays.

  • - Kirkland is Costco's you know, private label brand.

  • It's their store brand.

  • It's a brand that when they wanna offer something

  • at a certain price they don't feel a manufacturer supplier

  • can do it.

  • They build it themselves

  • - [Narrator] Since it was launched in 1995

  • the in-house brand has built a reputation

  • for quality and low prices on everyday items.

  • Today. Kirkland products make up a quarter

  • of Costco's $166 billion in annual sales.

  • - But when you talk to customers,

  • I think they generally feel that it doesn't necessarily

  • need to be fancy because they've already bought

  • into this Costco pitch which is, this is high quality

  • and it's a lower price and you don't need

  • to be afraid of it.

  • - [Narrator] That customer loyalty helped Costco

  • remain strong during the pandemic.

  • - Costco is certainly a model that has not only

  • survived the pandemic but has really thrived

  • in the pandemic.

  • - [Narrator] Despite the increased popularity

  • of online shopping Costco has leaned into its strategy

  • of driving members to it stores.

  • - It's really interesting to me because for years,

  • people have questioned Costco.

  • You know, Amazon is gonna get you.

  • You got to get bigger online and that really hasn't played

  • out yet.

  • They've said explicitly, we prefer people to come

  • into the store and shop.

  • We want impulse buys.

  • We want people to come in and see what we have and buy more.

  • We work better that way and it's cheaper.

  • (soft music)

- [Narrator] If you've ever shopped at Costco

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Behind Costco's Treasure-Hunt Shopping Strategy | The Economics Of | WSJ

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    nao 發佈於 2021 年 08 月 25 日
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