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Asked by Maximillia Auer in
Costco
Retail Stores
Grocery Shopping

Is Costco a wholesaler, a retailer, or both?

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Elise Greenholt
November 06, 2019 3:30PM

That seems like a simple question—it’s called Costco Wholesale Corporation, afterall. But that name is a little bit deceiving.

First, to define the central terms: A retailer is a store that sells to consumers, while a wholesaler sells to other stores. With those definitions in mind, Costco is technically both, as it sells to both consumers and other businesses. However, since consumers are a larger portion of its clientele, it’s probably more accurate to call Costco a retailer.

For what it’s worth, Costco describes itself as “a membership warehouse club” on its website, which is about 0 percent helpful.