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EXCLUSIVE: Costco To Launch Major E-Commerce Operation In Australia

Costco is set to unleash a major e commerce operation in Australia and one big advantage is they have buying power according to sources.

The $100 Billion-dollar Company is set to take on not only Woolworths and Coles but the likes of JB Hi Fi and Harvey Norman in the consumer electronics and appliance market. They also plan to sell optical and pharmacy products.

In Australia the giant US retailer has been slowly opening membership warehouses, but this could be accelerated this year as they look for expansion online which insiders claim will give them reach right across Australia.

ChannelNews understands that the big US retailer has already started discussions with brands and distributors. 

Yesterday Costco shares were heading for their biggest one-day gain in four years after reporting second-quarter earnings that blew past Wall Street forecasts and even as the wholesale retailer said it would raise its minimum wage for employees.

The Company currently has 163,000 employees.

A visit to the Companies US online site reveals that the big retailer is selling many of the big brands sold by consumer electronics and appliance retailers including Google, Samsung, LG and Sony. To get the high-level discounts that Costco is set to offer online Australians will have to sign up to become a Costco member.

SKU content will also include Webcollage content which is used by most major retailers in the USA to provide interactive content for visitors to a SKU.

The move to expand into e-commerce in Australia will also benefit distributors who are looking for new markets due to slowing consumer sales among the major consumer electronics retailers in Australia.

Over the weekend investors welcomed the solid result from Costco which sells everything from paper towels to home appliances in its warehouse stores, to fee-paying members.

Earnings jumped 26.4 per cent as revenues rose 7.3 per cent to $35.4bn. The market was expecting revenues of $35.67bn.

For the entire company, comparable sales were up 5.4 per cent year-on-year, while ecommerce sales were up 20.2 per cent.

Costco last year described the situation with the Trump administration’s tariffs, particularly those imposed upon China, was “extremely fluid”, and Mr Galanti told analysts that although the levies had not helped margins, “it probably hurt it less than one might think.

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