business news in context, analysis with attitude

The Wall Street Journal reports that Costco “averages $795 a square foot in annual sales, far above the $516 a square foot at Sam's and more than double the national average at malls. The average Costco store posts $115 million in average annual sales, nearly double Sam's Club's per-store average and almost triple per-store sales at BJ's. And with 449 warehouse clubs and $47.1 billion in annual revenue excluding membership fees, Costco easily outsells Sam's Club with 550 locations and $37.1 billion in comparable revenue.”

Part of the reason that Costco does so well is that it attracts more affluent consumers, sells a broader range of products (ranging from champagne to gasoline), and seems better able to stimulate impulse purchases and treasure hunts that lead to higher average transactions.
KC's View:
In other words, Costco competes successfully with Wal-Mart by differentiating itself from the Bentonville Behemoth and from everybody else with an unusual array of products and services.

A lesson worth learning.