Costco is a massive wholesaler that sells various goods such as food, tires, furniture, electronics, jewelry, and more. Costco has stores worldwide in countries such as the United States, the UK, Australia, Europe, and more.
A question that arises quite often about Costco is, ‘Is it owned by China’? Several products it sells originate there, so it’s a question worth asking. I’ve done some research, and here is what I’ve found!
Does China Own Costco?
China does not currently own Costco and has never had ownership in the past. Additionally, Costco is an American-owned company, with the first warehouse opening in the early 1980s in Seattle. However, some Costco products are manufactured in China, including those for its private label, Kirkland Signature.
If you want to learn more about Costco’s ownership, Costco products made in China, and the Costco stores in China, continue reading!
Which Country Owns Costco?
Costco has always been an American-owned company. With that, James Sinegal and Jeffrey H. Brotman opened the first Costco warehouse in Seattle on September 15, 1983.
Then, a second store opened in Portland in October and a third in Spokane in December 1983.
Currently, 558 of Costco’s 804 stores are located in the United States, and the company is firmly planted in the US.
Despite this, Costco is a global brand and has other locations in the following countries:
- 103 in Canada
- 39 in Mexico
- 29 in the United Kingdom
- 27 in Japan
- 16 in South Korea
- 14 in Taiwan
- 13 in Australia
- 3 in Spain
- 1 in Iceland
- 1 in France
- 1 in the People’s Republic of China
- 1 in New Zealand (opening in 2022)
- 1 in Sweden (opening in 2022)
Does China Make Products for Costco?
Costco sells a large range of brands in its stores, and some of these are made in China.
For example, some of these include Apple products (iPhones and iPads), various clothing brands, and more.
Also, it appears that some of the brands under Costco’s exclusive label, Kirkland Signature, are made in China.
In many cases, it does seem that Costco does try to manufacture their private label products in the USA, but items such as clothing and electronics are likely to be made in China.
Since China accounts for 28.7% of global manufacturing output, there is a good chance that many brands manufacture in China, even though they might not declare it.
Are There Costco Stores In China?
Yes, there is currently one Costco store open in China, and the store opened in August 2019 in Shanghai.
With that, the first Costco in China has been a huge success. By October 2019, it gained more than 200,000 members, which blew past the 68,000 average.
Also, Costco made headlines when eager shoppers forced the Chinese warehouse to close its doors for four hours on opening day due to overcrowding.
Currently, the most popular items sold at China’s Costco are meat, produce, lobster, and luxury handbags.
Also, there is another Costco set to open in China shortly.
What Is the Future Of Costco In China?
Costco gained far more success in the Chinese market than anyone thought possible.
The vast number of members and the uncontrollable demand on the opening day caused the store to close for the day temporarily.
So, this may be because Costco satisfies the hunger China has for a new concept when the development of the market is ideal.
Previously, other retail giants, like Amazon and Tesco, have attempted to gain market share but were forced to leave China after they failed.
With that, wholesale is becoming a huge and unexplored market in China that Costco is beginning to take advantage of.
There’s already a new location being built, and if that one gains success, the growth of Costco in China could be exponential.