Costco Shopping Alternatives and Similar Stores to Buy Quality Products – Costco Competitors

There are several Costco shopping alternatives and similar stores to buy quality products. A “Costco competitor” are business entity that operates in a similar market and offers comparable products or services, often contest for the same customer base.

These competitors compete with Costco in terms of pricing, quality, and market share, driving a competitive landscape that influences business strategies and customer choices.

Costco is a big store that sells things in bulk. It has a lot of competition in both selling stuff in bulk and how well they serve customers.

Costco is a membership-based retail store that offers a wide range of products including food, clothing, and more. Their operations are divided into three main parts: United States Operations, Canadian Operations, and International Operations.

Notably, their membership program has experienced growth, with cardholders increasing from 86.7 million in 2016 to approximately 107.1 million by 2020, serving 59.1 million households.

In 2020, despite an uptick in online sales, Costco remains committed to enhancing its physical store presence, as emphasized by CEO Craig Jelinek. An interesting move in this direction was the expansion of their warehouses from 80,000 to 230,000 square feet in November 2020.

Costco dedicates substantial investments to both their brick-and-mortar stores and their online shopping platform. This balanced approach has contributed to their resilience and success, enabling them to thrive in the face of competition from major rivals like Walmart and Amazon since 2021.

While Walmart and Amazon are prominent challengers, Costco also competes with other large retailers, both domestic and international, as it continues to secure and maintain its market share.

Costco Shopping Alternatives: Similar Stores for Costco Competition

In the following article, we’ll highlight the top 10 formidable competitors that present challenges to Costco within the realm of business.

1. Walmart

Founded by Sam Walton in 1962, Walmart has grown to encompass over 11,500 stores spread across the globe.

As the world’s largest retail chain, Walmart emerged as Costco’s primary rival in 2021.

Employing a staggering 2 million individuals across 27 countries, Walmart amassed approximately $524.4 billion in revenue during the fiscal year 2020.

The company holds a prestigious spot at 19th on Forbes’ esteemed Global 2000 list, signifying its immense brand value.

Walmart boasts a diverse array of offerings, spanning from clothing and household appliances to electronics, jewelry, games, pharmaceuticals, and beyond.

Additionally, Walmart is the proprietor of Sam’s Club, a membership-exclusive wholesale establishment that competes head-to-head with Costco for bulk purchasers. Undoubtedly, Walmart takes a prominent stance as one of Costco’s most prominent contenders.

2. Amazon

In 1994, Jeff Bezos founded Amazon, which has since evolved into a formidable global online shopping powerhouse.

Approximately 25% of Costco’s annual sales, totaling $118.7 billion, stem from their proprietary brands such as Kirkland.

Amazon has invested significantly in expanding its private label offerings, resulting in the creation of 146 in-house brands and 640 unique brands.

The introduction of these exclusive labels by Amazon has the potential to erode Costco’s key competitive advantage.

While Amazon is renowned for providing favorable deals to its customers, this characteristic can serve as a shield for Costco against the encroaching competition posed by Amazon.

3. The Kroger Company

Established in Ohio back in 1883, Kroger has emerged as a significant global player in the food retail industry. With an extensive footprint, they operate over 2,764 supermarkets across 35 states in the US.

In 2018, Kroger forged a partnership with the online retailer Ocado, resulting in the establishment of 20 automated distribution centers, 2,000 pickup locations, and 2,400 delivery points by 2020.

This strategic move enabled Kroger to effectively serve 97% of its customer base, leading to an impressive 11.5% surge in their earnings, reaching $41.5 billion during Q1 of 2020.

Kroger’s digital prowess is noteworthy, outshining Costco in the online arena. Their digital sales soared by a substantial 92% throughout the year 2020.

With a robust network of centers and a flourishing online sales channel, Kroger emerges as a formidable adversary for Costco in the year 2021.

4. Target

Commencing its journey in 1902, Target has evolved into a substantial global retailer and a notable contender challenging Costco’s dominance. With an expansive presence, Target boasts a network of 1,000 stores across the United States, employing a workforce of approximately 360,000 individuals spanning all 50 states.

Although both Target and Costco offer in-store and curbside pickup options, Target’s innovative methods, such as Shipt, Drive Up, and the Target+ marketplace, have proven to be more efficient and effective.

In the fiscal year 2020, Target exhibited impressive profitability, recording profits of around 29%, a notable contrast to Costco’s more modest 13%.

Target has also ventured into the membership realm akin to Costco. However, Target distinguishes itself by not imposing annual fees, positioning itself advantageously in this aspect compared to Costco.

This landscape highlights Target’s significant competitive stance against Costco, underlined by its strategic innovations, strong financial performance, and customer-friendly membership approach.

5. Sam’s Club

Under the umbrella of Walmart, Sam’s Club presents a comprehensive product selection that mirrors Costco’s inventory item-for-item.

By the outset of 2019, a notable distinction arose in the online spending patterns of both entities. While over half of Costco’s online expenditures were directed toward categories such as appliances, electronics, and home improvement, Sam’s Club captured merely 15% of its online sales from these segments.

In the current landscape, Sam’s Club commands a substantial 5.1% share of grocery sales, positioning itself as a prominent player in this domain. In contrast, Costco lags behind with a 1.2% share, which has witnessed a decline of 3.1 points in recent years.

Sam’s Club has distinctly carved out its niche as a premier destination for bulk grocery shopping in the online realm, showcasing its strength in this area and intensifying competition in the market.

6. Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA)

Commonly known as Walgreens, WBA, which was founded by Charles Walgreen in 1901, primarily focuses on providing pharmacy services across the United States and Europe. This pharmacy giant operates an impressive network of 400 distribution centers and boasts a sprawling presence with over 18,750 stores spanning 11 countries.

Annually, Walgreens’ distribution centers play a crucial role, catering to the needs of more than 25,000 pharmacies, medical practitioners, hospitals, and healthcare facilities around the world.

The year 2020 posed challenges as the ongoing crisis led to a substantial decline of approximately 85% in customer footfall within its stores. This decline in foot traffic translated to a significant financial setback, resulting in a third-quarter loss of $1.71 billion.

One noteworthy vulnerability of Walgreens when compared to Costco is its significant reliance on medical services. This focus could be considered a substantial weakness in contrast to Costco’s diverse product offerings and business model, which have contributed to its robust performance in various economic situations.

7. Home Depot is a Strong Costco Competitor


Established in 1978, Home Depot specializes in selling tools, building materials, and other products related to home improvement. With a robust presence, they operate approximately 2,300 stores across the United States, Canada, and Mexico.

In 2017, Home Depot launched the “One Home Depot” initiative, aimed at seamlessly integrating their various sales channels to enhance customer experience.

Leveraging this integrated approach, Home Depot achieved remarkable success in the second quarter of 2020, witnessing a substantial 23.4% increase in sales compared to the previous year, resulting in a total revenue of $38.1 billion.

Presently, a significant 60% of Home Depot’s online orders are fulfilled through in-store pickups. This strategic approach allows them to cater to customer preferences effectively, which stands as a considerable advantage over Costco’s predominantly in-store purchasing model.

The adept execution of their integrated plan and their focus on aligning sales strategies with customer preferences have positioned Home Depot as a strong competitor, particularly in adapting to changing market dynamics and customer behavior.

8. Tesco Another Costco Competitor

Originating in 1919, Tesco stands as a prominent British supermarket chain. Its journey began with a single store in London, but it has since expanded its reach across various locations in Europe and Asia, although its reliance on the UK market remains significant.

Tesco’s shopping model is open to all, allowing customers to make purchases without any membership requirements. Conversely, Costco mandates a membership card for shopping access.

This distinction bestows Tesco with a strategic advantage, particularly in urban settings where individuals are more inclined to make impulsive or last-minute purchases. The absence of restrictions enables Tesco to cater effectively to the preferences and behaviors of such customers, contributing to its competitive edge in those areas.

9. Aldi a Costco Competitor

Started in 1946 by the Albrecht family from Germany, Aldi is a well-liked supermarket chain.

They have around 11,245 stores and over 70,000 workers all over the world. Aldi’s strong points are its big range of products and affordable prices.

About 98% of Aldi’s products are their own high-quality brands, while Costco’s stock includes a mix of well-known brands and their own labels.

People in the UK who want to save money buy 75% of their groceries at Aldi and then go to Costco for the remaining 25% of non-perishable items.

In terms of saving money, Aldi is Costco’s main competition.

10. CVS

Established in 1963, CVS has emerged as the largest provider of pharmacy services within the United States. Its expansive reach extends beyond its core pharmacy services, encompassing retail pharmacy stores on a global scale.

In the financial spectrum, CVS generated substantial revenue, with its pharmacy operations accounting for a noteworthy $121 billion, representing 47% of its total revenue of $257 billion in 2020.

A closer examination of their segments reveals that CVS’s Long Term Care division contributed $74 billion, while Health Care Benefits generated $62 billion in revenue during the same year.

CVS has garnered the trust of consumers and is recognized for offering original, branded medications. This contrasts with Costco’s approach, which primarily involves providing generic alternatives.

Individuals who prioritize their health and value the authenticity and reliability of branded medications may find CVS to be a more appealing choice over Costco. This distinction showcases the varying considerations that can influence a consumer’s choice between these two prominent retailers.


In a competitive market dominated by major retailers, Costco distinguishes itself as a robust contender, showcasing its resilience and influence. This roster of the top 10 rivals highlights the diverse array of companies vying for consumer attention.

Each competitor contributes a distinct approach, aiming to enhance the customer experience through continuous efforts.

As the retail landscape undergoes transformation, it’s intriguing to observe these competitors strategically position themselves while Costco maintains its leading edge.

This spirited rivalry ultimately benefits customers by fostering an environment of improved shopping experiences and driving advancements that resonate across the entire industry. All these is just to show you Costco Shopping Alternatives and Similar Stores to Buy Quality Products. They are Costco Competitors.

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