business news in context, analysis with attitude

The Seattle Times has a piece about how Costco is dealing with the recession, with CEO Jim Sinegal telling the paper that he expects private label sales to grow from 20 percent of the chain’s business to 25 percent in the next few years.

In addition, according to the story:

• “The down economy has given Costco some opportunities for luxury-item deals, including the chance to sell prime-grade meat that used to go almost exclusively to restaurants. With people eating out less often, said Sinegal, ‘there are not as many steaks being sold in restaurants, and we're selling them’.”

• “The number of television sets sold at Costco is up more than 50 percent, Sinegal said, but they're priced so low that the chain has not seen a lot more money from those sales. He credits the low prices with driving those sales, but said customers also could be making different lifestyle choices. ‘It could be people saying that home entertainment is more important now than ever,’ Sinegal said.”

KC's View: