Tuesday, October 14th, 2014
Costco, the world’s seventh largest retailer headquartered in King County, has been growing its international presence for quite some time – its warehouses can be found in Canada, Mexico, the United Kingdom, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Australia, and Spain. Today marks the company’s first official foray into China, Washington State’s #1 two-way trading partner, thanks to a partnership with Alibaba Group and its Tmall Global Platform.
Costco, in partnership with Alibaba, has opened an online flagship store on Tmall.com, China’s largest third-party platform for brands and retailers. The site allows foreign companies to sell their products into China without needing to open a physical store. Costco plans to initially offer food and healthcare products plus its Kirkland Signature products. “Costco sees tremendous growth opportunities in China, especially in light of Chinese consumers’ increasing appetite for imported products. We have chosen a great partner, Alibaba, for the official launch of Costco’s Flagship Store.” notes Jim Murphy, Costco’s Executive Vice President in a statement.
During these first few months, Costco will be carefully analyzing the data from this new site to find out what items are popular and what new items to introduce in later months. Maggie Wu, General Manager of International B2C Division of Alibaba Group, emphasizes that “…Together we will develop and explore innovative market campaigns to unlock Costco’s membership value.”
The new online store can be found here: http://costco.tmall.hk/