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North American Warehouse Clubs

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This paper will focus on the competition amongst the North American Warehouse Clubs: Costco Wholesale versus Sam’s Club versus BJ’s wholesale. In the analysis, the paper will highlight the warehouse club that has been the strongest financial performer in the current years based on the company’s financial data and financial ratios. Besides, the paper will explain whether Costco’s expansion outside North America is financially successful, in addition to the company’s position in the next five years.

In the United States, Costco wholesale is the third biggest retailer and the eighth biggest globally (Thompson, P. 56).  The Wholesale operates numerous warehouses in various locations including in the United States, Canada, Taiwan, Puerto Rico, Japan, United Kingdom, Korea and Australia amongst others (Thompson, P. 56). The warehouses are evidenced to make great sales annually which have resulted to the success of the Costco wholesale.  Besides, the success can be linked to the increased number of membership both from businesses and households.

According to Costco main operating and financial statistics for the financial years 2000 to 2009, the wholesale is doing well in terms of financial performance. According to the financial statement, Costco net sales increased at an increasing rate between the periods 2000 ($31,621) to 2008 ($70, 977) although there was a slight decrease in 2009 ($69,889) (Thompson, P. 58). Moreover, the total revenues also increased at an increasing rate in the same period, with 2000 having total revenue of $32,164 and 2009 with $71,422 (Thompson, P. 58). The increased net sales and membership fees which resulted to increased revenues led to an increased net income in the period ranging from $631 to $1,086 (Thompson, P. 58).  In addition to this, the cash flow data revealed an increase in net cash offered by operating activities in addition to increased number of warehouses in operation.

Sam’s club operates various warehouses in various state of the United States including Brazil, Mexico, China, Canada, and Puerto Rico (Thompson, P. 67). The club has seen the closure of various warehouses due to underperformance. However, the club has also opened various new warehouses. The operating and financial statistics of Sam’s club for the financial years 2001 and 2010 will give us an analysis of how the club is performing financially. According to the statistics, the clubs sales in the United States increased at an increasing rate between the years 2001 to 2009, although there was a slight decrease in the financial year 2010 as compared to 2009 (Thompson, P. 68). Besides, other determinants such as the club’s assets, and number of locations also increased gradually. Nevertheless, the growth in sales at the subsisting warehouses that are opened for over one year revealed a decrease in the rate of growth over the period.

BJ’s wholesale also operates various warehouses in the eastern part of the United States, and since 2004, the wholesale has recorded an increased number of warehouses from 150 to 187 (Thompson, P. 69). The wholesale faces stiff competition from Costco and Sam’s; nonetheless, it has come up with various strategies which has made it remain in the market place. The operating and financial statistics for BJ wholesale for the financial years 2006 to 2010 offer a clear analysis of how the wholesale is performing financially. According to the data, the wholesale’s net sale increased at an increasing rate between the years 2006 to 2010, ranging from $7,725 to $9,954 (Thompson, P. 70). These, accompanied by increased membership fees and other revenues resulted to an increase in total revenues in the same period. Furthermore, the club’s balance sheet and cash flow data indicates good financial performance.

Comparing al these three warehouse clubs in terms of financial performance according to the information provided above, Costco can be evidenced to be the strongest financial performer in the current years based on the company’s financial data.  This is based on the fact that the wholesale’s net revenues, net sales, membership fees, and cash flow data indicates a high increase during the period provided compared to the other warehouse clubs. Furthermore, the wholesale has an increased number of warehouses in operation, and increased number of members in addition to recording a high number of novel warehouses which all contributes to and signifies better financial performance.

Apparently, Costco’s expansion outside North America (the United States and Canada) is financially successful according to the data provided. This is evidenced by the fact that for the financial years 2005 to 2009, other international operations showed that the main determinants for financial performance were improving. For instance, for that period, the total revenue for international operations was on the increase (Thompson, P. 64). Besides, the number of warehouses increased during the period and this signifies growth. Although there were increases in operating income and capital expenditures, this was well covered by incomes resulting to an upward growth in terms of financial performance. This means that Costco expansion outside North America is financially successful.

With the previous performance of Costco, it is true saying that in the next five years, the wholesale, standing as an industry leader is likely to be stronger. The current strategy used by the company including pricing and quality has a competitive advantage over that of its rivals meaning that; most likely, the company will persist being successful in the market place. Besides, the current performance of Costco indicates that the wholesale has a magnificently large number of members compared to it competitor, and persist to open novel warehouses signifying that the possibility that Costco will persist being a stronger market leader may be at the expense of the other two rivals (BJ and Sam’s) which are very likely to lose ground.

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