The suburban, car-loving, McMansion-owning parents of millennials represent Costco’s (COST) core customer base. But what about millennials themselves?
As far as retail success stories go, few can compete with Costco’s run in recent years. In surveys, customers routinely weigh in on how much they love the Costco shopping experience, and the company’s unique business model is celebrated in TV documentaries and glowing magazine profiles alike.
But the fact that in early March Costco reported lower-than-expected earnings and its stock price has slumped now has some wondering if the company can stay on its hot growth streak going forward. In particular, concern is being raised that Costco’s membership model and its bulk-goods products don’t appeal to the nation’s young consumers—and that the Costco experience might not be a good match for the millennial generation even after they grow older and have families.