Costco conquering a neglected market

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La Presse a eu accès au premier Costco pour l’entreprise du Québec, le deuxième au Canada, qui ouvrira ses portes le 29 septembre à Saint-HubertCostco à la conquête d’un marché délaissé Costco à la conquête d’un marché délaissé

Publié le 26 sept. 2020
Marie-Eve FournierLa Presse

Paradoxically, with its new concept for businesses, Costco returns to its origins.After having abandoned the SMEs, the retailer aims to regain their loyalty by opening tailor -made stores for restaurants, convenience stores and professionals of professionals.

Always very discreet about his intentions, the giant Costco does not hide, this time, his strategy to win back a neglected market over the years.That of small and medium -sized enterprises of all kinds.

"In the next year, it will take off.We are going to open Costco for the company in Ottawa, Edmonton, Toronto and Calgary, "Marc-AndréBally, Vice-President of Costco for the company and auxiliary services, traversed the aisles..And in 2022, an inauguration is planned in Anjou, in the premises of the current Costco which will move.

The cities of Vancouver, Winnipeg and Quebec are also in the sights."This is a big deployment and the reason we do that is that there are a large number of potential members that we are not going to look for.We discovered it by opening [a costco for the company near] Toronto.»»

The concept, which already exists in the United States and Scarborough (Ontario) since March 2017, mainly attracts restaurateurs.These represent 70 % of customers. Dans les Costco traditionnels, « ce n’est même pas 10 %»», évalue Sébastien Côté, directeur général du magasin de Saint-Hubert.

Costco à la conquête d’un marché délaissé

Sellers are currently going around the restaurants in the Montreal region to present the offer of the new Costco, which offers them steaks boxes, cauldrons, a variety of packaging for take -out controls (or delivered),Olive oil barrels, fresh fruits and vegetables.

Given the situation of restaurants, will sales be there?"We are aware of the timing.But they will save significantly by coming here. Ça va aider ceux qui souffrent»», répond M.Bally.

In images, in pictures


In all, there are 3,200 products, 80 % of which are food or kitchen items.This is compared to 3800 in a standard warehouse, which includes clothing, jewelry, household items, three categories absent in Saint-Hubert.About 30 % of the products are sold in both types of costco (nut packs, cheeses, cleansing products).

« Si on est pour être pareils aux autres Costco, ça ne sert à rien»», fait valoir M.Bally en nous montrant la « rangée COVID»», remplie de masques et de gants.

Shopping experience

The recipe that makes Costco's success does not change, however.

Customers will still be welcomed by a series of disparate items aligned against the diagonal wall.During our visit, there were impressive 4.5 kg toblerone chocolate bars, infrared thermometers, recorder boxes, barrels of 211 liters of maple syrup at $ 2499 and buckets of poutine sauce.

If a lot of food is sold in too large formats for the average family, others will appeal.Besides, insists m.Bally, tous les membres de Costco peuvent entrer avec leur carte.But beware, the opening hours are different.

Obviously, experience is special because often foods are sold in brown boxes without photo (intended for the institutional sector).A whole contrast with the packaging designed to lather the sales to which we are used to."It costs $ 2, a beautiful box!"We are not going to ask our suppliers to change their packaging. Quand je dis qu’on garde nos coûts bas…»», explique M.Bally.

In some cases, a sticker with a photo has been added to facilitate identification (in the frozen, in particular).

Soon the delivery of fresh food

Le dirigeant, qui a commencé sa carrière chez Costco « en poussant des paniers»», nous a aussi révélé qu’une entente avec Instacart était presque finalisée. Cela permettra aux clients du Québec « dans les prochains mois»» de se faire livrer « un poulet rôti, des œufs et du lait le même jour»».Throughout Canada, it is only in Quebec that the delivery of fresh food is not yet offered.

Anything available in a Costco for the company can also be delivered to business customers. Le détaillant s’est doté d’un parc de huit camions « pour commencer, car à Toronto, on est déjà rendus à 28»», dit M.Bally.

Thus, the Saint-Hubert store closes so to speak never.When the doors are locked for customers, a team starts to assemble orders placed online.At midnight, we start filling the tablets.And from 6 a.m., we reopen for restaurateurs while the delivery trucks are preparing to start their tour.

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