I’ve mentioned before how much I love Costco. In the land of retail, I don’t think there is another company that can claim such a loyal following from both it’s customers and employees. What’s interesting is that their formula doesn’t require a college degree to understand. Stick to a core set of priniciples that put the customers first, and employees second and the market will love you. Sure, they’ve had their share of whiners on Wall Street, but the bottom line is that they’ve delivered great financial results for a LONG time and have given a solid value to investors.
This article talks at length about this. I’d recommend reading it. The $50 annual membership feels a little steep, but I pay it because I know that I get far more than $50 in value by shopping there each year. It’s refreshing to do business with a company that I can trust to deliver solid values to me every time I shop there. Knowing that they aren’t taking any more than a 15% profit on any items in their store helps too. I was surprised to see that they generate $1.2 billion in membership fees each year and that translates in to a significant percentage of their profit.
Oh and as a final side note, one of the reasons’ for Costco’s growth is their really excellent return policy. Savingadvice gave it some good coverage, so check out their article if you get a chance.