Grocery pickup still not in the cards for Costco

Grocery pickup still not in the cards for Costco

Costco reported $33.96 billion in net sales for the third quarter, an increase of 7.4% from the same period in 2018.

The retailer saw adjusted comparable store sales grow 5.5%, with e-commerce growing 19.5%, according to a news release.

While Costco has partnered with Instacart and Shipt, it isn’t currently looking to add grocery pickup, despite the success that competitors like Walmart have had.

“The click-and-collect that we’re doing is simply more for small-size big-ticket items like electronics and jewelry and handbags,” chief financial officer Richard Galanti said on an earnings call. “We continue to look at it, we continue to scratch our head about it, we recognize that they and some others are putting in a lot of financial commitment to doing this.

“I think what you’re going to find is like everything else in life at Costco, over time we figure out how to do it our way that makes sense for us that still works,” Galanti said.

He noted that making products available for delivery via Instacart and Shipt are “ways to do that without us having to get into that business in a big way,” Galanti said.

Another part of the equation is Costco’s recognition that “if somebody wants something in an hour, they’re probably not going to get it from us,” Galanti said.

Last but not least, the company’s emphasis is really on driving people into the store.

Galanti gave updates on other elements of the business, including challenges like the China tariffs and increasing employee wages. He also noted that the company is testing self-checkout in about 125 locations now and planning to expand that number to 250 within a few months.

“For us it works best in high-volume locations,” Galanti said, noting that contactless payment is particularly speedy. “It’s very fast, and customers are using it.”


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