The suburban, car-loving, McMansion-owning parents of millennials represent Costco's core customer base. But what about millennials themselves? As far as retail success stories go, few can compete with Costco's run in recent years. In surveys, customers routinely weigh in on how much they love the Costco shopping experience, and the company's unique business model is celebrated in TV documentaries and glowing magazine profiles alike. But the fact that in early March Costco reported lower-than-expected earnings and its stock price has slumped now has some wondering if the company can stay on its hot growth streak going forward.
Sears Canada is laying off 624 employees, the second time in as many weeks the struggling retailer has announced cost-saving cuts to its workforce. The company, whose sales have fallen for the last seven fiscal years in a battle with stronger rivals like Wal-Mart, Costco and Winners, said late Wednesday that the layoffs will lead to more effective communication between management and its store associate teams. The cuts result in an average reduction of five associates per store from a mid-tier level, the retailer said.
On Wednesday morning, just hours after he wrapped up the State of the Union speech, President Obama will pay a visit to a Costco in Lanham, Maryland. There, he's likely to reinforce messages about raising the minimum wage and income inequality. It will hardly be the first time this administration has held up the discount behemoth as a model of corporate success. In his speech on the economy back in July, Obama hailed Costco as a company that "pays good wages and offers good benefits," proving "that this isn't just good for their business, it's good for America."
Costco Wholesale has tentatively agreed to pay $8 million and change its promotion procedures to settle a long-running lawsuit that alleges it failed to give female employees an equal shot at management jobs. In the proposed settlement, the Issaquah, Wash.-based retailer agreed to establish an $8 million fund to compensate women in the lawsuit, which received class-action status in 2007. It also will overhaul its promotion procedures and tools. The company will also create a posting process for assistant general manager promotions, and a system to register interest in promotions to general manager roles.
Calling Dollar General's wages "shamefully low," political activist Ralph Nader has urged CEO Richard Dreiling to support raising the minimum wage. In a letter dated Dec. 8, Nader argued that raising the minimum wage would aid the economy and boost revenues at the Goodlettsville, Tenn.-based discount retailer through increased consumer spending and lower employee turnover. He urged Dreiling to join Costco CEO Craig Jelinek in advocating for a national minimum wage increase to $10.10 an hour.
The holiday shopping pandemonium has commenced. With the holiday shopping season six days shorter this year than last year, retailers have made the decision to open on Thanksgiving night and provide early Black Friday shopping. Wal-Mart, Kmart, Target and others are trying to make the most of the holiday season. However, The Huffington Post Reports…
Using Stores.org's list of top U.S. retailers, Econsultancy has compiled a graph showing the top U.S. retail brands on social media. "No surprise to see Wal-Mart far out in front, with worldwide revenue of $467,896,000 in 2012, more than four times as much as nearest competitor Costco ($97,062,000). Some of this comes from regional brands…
Michael Kors, one of America's largest sportswear brands, is suing wholesale club Costco for false advertising. The issue stems from a Costco marketing email campaign which was sent to Costco customers last April. Advertising Mother's Day gift ideas, including "designer handbags starting at $99," it includes images of several Michael Kors bags, many of which have the MK logo on prominent display. The problem is that Costco doesn't sell MK bags.
Costco CEO Craig Jelinek is eliminating self-service checkout from the company's stores because he says his employees do a better job. "They're great for low-volume warehouses, but we don't want to be in the low-volume warehouse business," he told Brad Stone at Bloomberg Businessweek.
Michael Kors 553,161 956,368 73% CVS 7,273,276 10,877,674 50% American Apparel 380,814 534,573