Company: Costco Wholesale Corp
Brand Value: $16,785 Million
Headquarters: Issaquah, Washington
Year formed: 1976
Costco is a membership warehouse retailer based in Issaquah, WA. Its 729 stores offer a wide range of name brands as well as its own Kirkland brand of merchandise at generally competitive prices. Many stores also operate low-cost gasoline stations. Its customers, which include businesses, purchase a yearly membership that gives them access to the stores. Traditionally, Costco has chosen to rely on its excellent customer service and word-of-mouth advertising to promote its brand, and it has not invested much in ecommerce. It’s also known for treating its employees well, making many of the them brand ambassadors. Recently, the company switched its credit card partner from American Express to Visa, which offers cash back plans that may be more in line with the expectations of discount consumers.