You Want Great Prices…

Michele Miller at Wonder Branding has some nice things to say about Costco Wholesale and the retail giant’s CEO, Jim Sinegal. I also love the way she says it.
Sinegal.jpg

Thanks to Jim Sinegal, the bigwigs down on Wall Street have their undies in a bunch.
Costco puts Wal-Mart to shame in the arena of low pricing. They steadfastly hold to the rule that nothing shall be marked up more than 15% (compared with competitor’s markup of 25% and more). They pay their employees an average of $17 per hour… 42% higher than Sam’s Club… and have one of the best health plans in the industry.
Costco’s stock has risen more than 10% in the last year. Employee turnover rate is nearly non-existent. Sales revenue for June of 2005 is up 9% from the same period last year.
What does Wall Street have to say about this? If you can get their thumbs out of their mouths long enough to tell you, they wail that Joe is too generous. He just isn’t shaving enough off the top for them to get their greedy little hands on. An analyst from Deutsche Bank whines, “it’s better to be an employee or a customer than a shareholder.”
Wah, wah, wah. Jim’s not playing the game by our rules. He’s too traditional, too old-fashioned. And on top of that (horror of horrors) he only took a $200,000 bonus last year. We don’t wanna play anymore!
My God. A business that puts its employees and customers before the Almighty Profit does exist. Isn’t it amazing that a simple thing like that would create cult-like customer loyalty and $40 billion in revenue… with almost no advertising?

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About David Burn

Native Nebraskan seeking the perfect pale ale in the Pacific Northwest. Copywriter and brand strategist at Bonehook. Co-founder and editor of AdPulp. Contributor to The Content Strategist. Doer of the things written about herein.

  • http://www.danny-g.net Danny G

    I read that article in the Times on Sunday, too, and Michelle’s right on. Makes me want to go renew my Costco membership even though it’s a little pathetic to buy stuff in bulk when you’re single.
    But who the hell are all the analysts anyway? What makes them such experts? And are they the same ones who were kissing the asses of Ken Lay and Bernie Ebbers a few years ago?
    Maybe if Wall Street analysts hate a business so much, it’s probably a good business. Bunch of nimrods.

  • Gwen Pentland

    I guess I won’t feel so bad enjoying their amazing wine selection and completely fabulous chicken pot pie anymore. Costco rocks!

  • http://johndavis.typepad.com/johns_blog/2005/07/costco.html The Life of an Advertising Intern

    Costco

    Thank God for Costco. Not only are they telling Wall Street to effectively shove it, they are exercising corporate responsibility as well. If you have no idea what I am talking about, check out the story from the kind folks

  • http://rangelife.typepad.com seamus

    I disagree with one statement: “A business that puts its employees and customers before the Almighty Profit does exist.”
    Actually, it’s a business that profits mightily based on a strategy of treating its employees and customers well. Not that dissimilar from Southwest Airlines, when you think about it.

  • http://www.corante.com/brandshift/archives/2005/07/20/costco.php BrandShift

    Costco

    Like David Burn at AdPulp, I agree with Michelle Miller’s line on Costco:According to an article in yesterday’s New York Times, Costco puts Wal-Mart to shame in the arena of low pricing. They steadfastly hold to the rule that nothing…