Costco Value Chain Analysis in 2022

Costco was established way back in 1988 under the joint leadership of Jeffery H. Brotman and James Sinegal. While the former specialized in retail business the latter was proficient with the wholesale distribution.

James Sinegal’s last stint was with the iconic wholesale distributor FedMart, until 1988 when he met Brotman and decided to establish Costco with him.

Over the next couple of years, Costco has stood out as a leading global retail organization with operations in 10 different nations.


As previously mentioned, Costco was established in 1988 under the joint leadership of Jeffery Brotman, an experienced retail businessman, and James Sinegal, an expert warehouse retailer.

Costco thrived over the following decades and the company currently operates across 10 nations and has close to 475 franchises.

The company also leverages a unique strategy compared to predecessors and current competitors. Unlike any other company, Costco promises to store and offer high-quality consumer essentials and other goods without the retailer paying high charges.

 It was one of the first companies to join the online trading bandwagon and thanks to its global eCommerce stores, and you can expect active and consistent trading.

While the company stands out as a market leader with its vision and values, it is fiercely competitive with other businesses namely the Wholesale and the Sam Club. Per its mission statement, the company is driven to change conventional business ideas according to the fluctuating market parameters.

This would help them retain and tap into the majority of the profits along with excellent shareholder value, ultimately strengthening company ethics.

Costco is driven by the goal to provide high-quality goods at a low price to the end-user. While doing this, it also upholds the highest ethics code which involves membership perks (that change from time to time) and adhering to Federal laws.

As you would probably know, the company has close to 475 stores across the globe. Likewise, it hosts the maximum number of warehouses in its 10 locations.

The current warehouse count of the company is 804 with the US alone housing 558 of these warehouses.

Costco Value Chain Analysis in 2022

When it comes to the Costco Wholesale Corporation, the company follows a unique strategy. Their main goal is to emphasize and boost the value of consumer goods so that both the company and the end-users benefit from the sale of high-quality products pegged at low prices.

Even before we take a closer look at the company’s 2022 value chain analysis model, it is crucial to understand what the term means. In the simplest terms, we can define it as a process of pegging higher values to goods depending on the fluctuating cost structure and additional pricing parameters.

So, when performing a value chain analysis of Costco, we first need to understand its primary goal and purpose.

Because we already know that the primary goal of Costco is to sell high-quality consumer goods at low prices, we now need to focus on the second step which is all about understanding whether you need to add any value to the goods in the first place.

Because consumer goods will never go out of fashion, Costco has a strong say in this segment.

The final and the biggest step for performing value chain analysis is first soiling and differentiating the steps and strategies that will help the company outperform.

Here, quite evidently, Costco’s success depends on how they maintain their existing value chain and where they peg the prices. While analyzing the value chain, we need to consider important parameters including (but not limited to):

  • Production of market goods
  • Storage of the said goods
  • Marketing strategies
  • Post-Marketing strategies and observations

So, at its very essence, we will attempt to figure out the entire lifecycle of the consumer good while performing a value chain analysis on the same. At this point, you should note two crucial activities that are a solid aspect of Costco’s 2022 value chain analysis.

The first will involve tasks like logistics, overall operations, and marketing. The next involves a bunch of secondary tasks ranging from procuring human resources, spending on R & D, and investing in other activities that help with post-marketing surveillance.

To make maximum gains and keep the share levels highly competitive, Costco needs to have a solid combination of Primary and Secondary tasks.

Fortunately, the company excels in both departments, and in the following few sections, we will learn more about it in detail.

Primary Activities

While Costco has multiple primary activities, we will only focus on the key highlights which include the following:


While developing a product, it is crucial to understand both its inbound and outbound logistics. Unless we do this, the firm is at the risk of failure and may also encounter several issues in the long run.

One of the key steps of inbound logistics is to forge and retain solid relationships with consumer product suppliers. This enables Costco to receive the products, get them properly stored, and eventually market and distribute them without encountering roadblocks.

In case you didn’t already know, Costco prides itself in a solid purchasing relationship with global manufacturers and brands. Unlike competitors, they are not driven or controlled by the whims of a single supplier.

The biggest highlight of their business is that they purchase every product directly from the key manufacturers. Following this, the items are moved to the Costco warehouses, where they are checked for quality, and then stored according to requirements.

Regarding outbound logistics, product handling and delivery are the main areas of concern. Thanks to its advanced tools and extremely competent R and D team, the company can quickly analyze its outbound logistics for a clearer picture which in turn helps them stand ahead of the crowd.


Now that we know about Costco’s inbound and outbound logistics, it’s time to focus on its operations. The basic idea behind analyzing operations is to analyze everything an organization offers.

Every product and service under the Costco brand name will be part of the overall production and operations process.

The main idea here is to purchase maximum raw materials, develop products quickly, and market them even quicker for solid and steady growth. Costco excels in this department because it sources every item directly from the manufacturer.

Moreover, the company also controls every aspect of the operation, and they can easily collaborate with teammates for the highest profits and steady economic benefits. Per their latest statements, Costco operates for 10 hours every day of the week.


One of Costco’s biggest highlights lies in how they market its products. Unlike competitors, they focus on providing discounts to bulk wholesale goods. They also have promotional offers that customers are reminded of via email.

 The company also has a bunch of monthly resource publication calendar that features all the upcoming goods you can expect at Costco.

This is an excellent way to market products because users know what to expect and when. Additionally, the bulk discount of Costco is working in their favor with more people expressing interest in membership cards,

Supportive Tasks

As with the primary tasks, Costco has a bunch of Supportive tasks as well. The following section will learn more about it and how it works.


This is one of the first segments of secondary tasks that businesses like Costco focus on. Human Resource Management HRM is the key secondary task driver because of its undeniable role in maintaining proper organizational staff levels.

The HRM department of Costco is also tasked with training every new employee.

Unlike several competitors, the company emphasizes the physical and mental well-being of every individual who is a part of Costco. This is one of the biggest reasons why the company’s attrition rate is extremely low.

The company regularly boosts customer morale by revamping policies and maintaining a friendly environment.

Sourcing goods

When it comes to sourcing goods or procurement, the idea is to buy the items that are a part of the existing Costco value chain. In Costco, the sourcing is direct from the manufacturer.

Depending on the product, it will also involve the price of sourcing and buying new raw materials, tools, and devices. The best part: Costco heavily relies on technology to manage currently in-progress activities.

Research and Development

One of the biggest reasons behind Costco’s success is its superb research and development team, which is exactly what the technology wing of the organization is tasked with.

This wing selects the appropriate technology for multiple Costco goods, filters the right fields, and helps design the product, among other benefits.

Bottom Line

Overall, the 2022 value chain analysis of the company seems to be very solid because Costco has ample resources that’ll help hone its benefits while minimizing pinpoints.

Costco is entirely driven to produce high-quality products for its end users and over the last few decades, it has succeeded in their area.

The company gets a third culture type when it comes to the company infrastructure. Finally, when it comes to procuring products, Costco has a healthy mix of direct purchases as well as products that are built from scratch.