Top 15 Costco Competitors and Alternatives

Top 15 Costco Competitors and Alternatives

Costco, founded in 1983, is a popular American membership-only warehouse club offering a wide range of products at discounted prices, including groceries, electronics, furniture, and more. With its large warehouse-style stores and bulk purchasing model, Costco has become a favorite shopping destination for individuals and businesses.

While Costco has established itself as a leader in the warehouse club industry, it faces stiff competition from several other companies. We will explore the top 15 Costco competitors and alternatives, providing you with a comprehensive overview of the options available in the market.

Some of Costco’s key competitors include retail giants like Walmart and Target, who offer similar product categories and competitive pricing. Other warehouse clubs like Sam’s Club and BJ’s Wholesale Club also directly compete with Costco’s membership model.

Home improvement retailers like Home Depot and Lowe’s also offer a range of products found at Costco, including appliances, tools, and home furnishings. Grocery stores such as Kroger and Albertsons provide an alternative option for grocery shopping.

In the digital space, Amazon has emerged as a strong competitor to Costco, offering convenience and a vast selection of products through its online platform. Online discount retailers like ALDI and Dollar General also present alternatives for cost-conscious shoppers.

Other competitors and alternatives on our list include Walgreens, Carrefour, Best Buy, Staples, and Tesco, each offering unique offerings and value propositions that cater to specific customer needs.

Whether you are looking for competitive pricing, convenience, or specialized product offerings, these top 15 Costco competitors and alternatives offer a variety of options to consider.

Top 15 Costco Competitors/Alternatives


Walmart is one of Costco’s leading competitors and alternatives. Founded in 1962, Walmart is a multinational retail corporation that operates a chain of hypermarkets, discount department stores, and grocery stores. With over 10,500 stores worldwide, Walmart is a significant player in the retail industry.

One of the areas where Walmart overlaps with Costco is the grocery sector. Both companies offer a wide range of grocery products at competitive prices. Walmart’s grocery business includes fresh produce, meat, dairy, bakery items, and pantry staples. This puts Walmart in direct competition with Costco’s grocery offerings.

Another area where Walmart competes with Costco is in the general merchandise category. Walmart offers a wide selection of products, from electronics and clothing to home goods and appliances. This overlaps with Costco’s offerings, as both companies aim to provide a one-stop shopping experience for their customers.

In addition to its core business, Walmart also owns and operates Sam’s Club, a membership-based warehouse club similar to Costco. Sam’s Club offers a range of bulk products, including groceries, electronics, furniture, and more. This makes Sam’s Club a direct competitor to Costco, as both companies target similar customer segments.


Target is a retail giant known for offering a wide range of products, including groceries, apparel, home goods, electronics, and more. As a competitor to Costco, Target competes in several key areas.

One of the main ways Target competes with Costco is through its extensive selection of products. While Costco is known for its bulk buying and membership model, Target offers a more traditional shopping experience with a vast array of products in various categories. This gives customers more options and variety when shopping, catering to different preferences and needs.

In addition, Target has also introduced its own membership/loyalty program called Target Circle, which offers various benefits to its members. This directly responds to Costco’s membership model and aims to attract customers looking for savings and rewards.

Target also competes with Costco through its emphasis on affordable pricing and promotions. The store frequently offers sales, discounts, and clearance items, appealing to budget-conscious shoppers. While the pricing structure may differ from Costco’s bulk buying model, Target positions itself as a cost-effective alternative for customers who may not require large quantities of items.

Target has also expanded its grocery offerings, with many locations featuring grocery sections that compete directly with Costco’s food and perishable goods. This allows Target to attract customers looking to do their grocery shopping and general merchandise needs in a single trip.

Target’s subsidiaries, such as Shipt, provide an added advantage in competing with Costco’s delivery services. Shipt offers same-day delivery for groceries, essentials, and other products, providing convenience and accessibility to customers who prefer the convenience of online shopping without the need for a membership.

Home Depot

Home Depot is a leading home improvement retailer that offers a wide range of products and services for homeowners and professionals. With over 2,200 stores across the United States and Canada, Home Depot provides a convenient and accessible shopping experience for customers looking to enhance their homes.

One of the main areas where Home Depot competes with Costco is in the home improvement sector. While Costco also offers a selection of home improvement products, Home Depot specializes in this category and provides a more extensive and diverse range of products. From tools and building materials to appliances and furniture, Home Depot is a one-stop shop for customers looking to undertake home renovation projects.

Home Depot also offers additional services, such as installation and design consultation, which further enhances its competitive edge. These value-added services allow customers to receive expert advice and assistance, making Home Depot a trusted destination for all their home improvement needs.


Established in 1919, Tesco has grown from humble beginnings to become an international giant with over 4,800 stores across 12 countries.

Tesco competes with Costco in the retail grocery sector. Both companies offer customers a wide range of grocery products, aiming to provide convenience and affordability. While Costco is known for its bulk-buying model and membership-based approach, Tesco has established itself as a trusted one-stop shop for groceries, offering a diverse range of products at competitive prices.

Additionally, Tesco has implemented a loyalty reward system, a significant factor in its competition with Costco. The loyalty program, which has been in place for decades, offers customers discounts on both groceries and luxury items, further enhancing their shopping experience. This approach has helped Tesco retain its existing customer base and attract new customers who value the benefits and discounts provided through the loyalty program.

In terms of international presence, Tesco has expanded its operations to several countries, including Thailand, Ireland, and the United States. This expansion has allowed Tesco to tap into new markets and compete with Costco globally. While Costco has its own international presence, Tesco’s extensive network of stores gives it an edge in geographic reach and customer accessibility.


Walgreens is a well-known American pharmacy store chain that competes with Costco in several ways. While both companies offer a range of products, including health and wellness items, Walgreens specializes in pharmaceuticals and healthcare services. With over 8,500 locations in the U.S. and more than 2,500 stores in the UK, Walgreens provides convenient access to prescription medications, over-the-counter drugs, and other health-related products.

While Costco also has pharmacies in some of its stores, it has a different level of focus on pharmaceuticals than Walgreens. However, Costco does offer a range of healthcare products, including vitamins, supplements, and personal care items, which puts it in direct competition with Walgreens in these categories.

In addition to its pharmacy services, Walgreens offers a variety of healthcare services, including immunizations, health screenings, and prescription mail-order. These services cater to customers seeking convenient and accessible healthcare options, providing a competitive advantage over Costco.

Walgreens also has a wide range of partnerships and subsidiaries that further enhance its competition with Costco. For example, Walgreens is a part of the Walgreens Boots Alliance, a global pharmacy-led health and beauty retail company. This alliance gives Walgreens access to a broader international market and strengthens its position in the pharmaceutical industry.


Kroger is one of the largest supermarket chains in the United States, with over 2,700 stores operating under various banners, including Kroger, Ralphs, Fred Meyer, and Harris Teeter. The company primarily offers a wide range of grocery products, including fresh produce, meat, dairy, and packaged goods.

In competition with Costco, Kroger presents a formidable alternative for consumers looking for everyday grocery shopping. While Costco focuses more on bulk purchases and offers a limited selection of products, Kroger provides a comprehensive range of groceries, allowing customers to choose from a variety of brands and sizes. This makes Kroger a more convenient option for everyday necessities and smaller shopping trips, where customers may not require large quantities of items.

Additionally, Kroger offers competitive pricing and frequent discounts through its loyalty program. The Kroger Plus Card allows customers to save on purchases, incentivizing them to choose Kroger over Costco for regular grocery needs. The company also emphasizes customer service, with knowledgeable staff available to assist shoppers and an easy-to-navigate store layout.

Kroger has also made strides to adapt to the changing retail landscape by offering online grocery shopping and delivery services. This provides customers the convenience of shopping from the comfort of their homes, an area where Costco has been slower to expand. Kroger’s online platform allows customers to browse a wide selection of products, compare prices, and schedule convenient delivery or pickup.

Kroger’s Fred Meyer stores compete directly with Costco, offering a mix of groceries, apparel, electronics, and household goods, similar to Costco’s multicategory approach. These stores attract customers looking for a one-stop shop for both groceries and other household items, creating direct competition for Costco’s diverse product offerings.

Best Buy

With a wide range of product offerings and a strong brand presence, Best Buy is often seen as a direct competitor to Costco in the electronics and appliances category.

One of Best Buy‘s key competitive advantages is its extensive physical retail network. With over 1,000 stores across the United States, Best Buy provides customers with the convenience of seeing and testing products in person before making a purchase. This is in contrast to Costco, which primarily operates as a warehouse club and offers a different level of in-store product experience.

In addition to its brick-and-mortar stores, Best Buy has also invested heavily in its online presence. The company offers a robust e-commerce platform, allowing customers to browse and purchase products online for home delivery or store pickup.

A key area of competition between Best Buy and Costco is pricing. Both retailers aim to offer competitive prices on their product offerings. Still, Costco is known for its bulk buying model, which allows it to negotiate lower prices from suppliers and pass on the savings to its members. On the other hand, Best Buy offers a wide range of products at varying price points, catering to different customer budgets and preferences.

While both Best Buy and Costco sell electronics and appliances, they have slightly different target markets. Costco tends to appeal to budget-conscious consumers looking for good deals on high-quality products. At the same time, Best Buy targets a broader range of customers, including tech enthusiasts and customers who prioritize the latest technology and product innovations.

In terms of services, Best Buy offers various support and installation services for customers, including product warranties, technical support, and home theater installation. These additional services help differentiate Best Buy from Costco and provide added value to customers.


ALDI is a global discount supermarket chain founded in Germany in 1946. It has since expanded to become one of the world’s largest and most successful discount retailers, with over 12,000 stores in 19 countries. ALDI is known for its no-frills approach to retailing, offering a limited selection of private-label products at competitive prices.

ALDI competes with Costco in the retail grocery sector by targeting a similar customer base – value-conscious shoppers looking for affordable prices. While Costco offers a wide range of products in bulk sizes, ALDI focuses on providing a smaller selection of essential items, with a particular emphasis on grocery products. Like Costco, ALDI strongly focuses on value, offering quality products at low prices.

One area where ALDI competes directly with Costco is in the private label category. ALDI offers various categories of high-quality private-label products, including food, household items, and personal care. This is similar to Costco’s Kirkland Signature brand, known for its quality and value.

In recent years, ALDI has also expanded its offering to include a selection of non-grocery items, such as home goods and electronics. This diversification allows ALDI to compete directly with Costco in other product categories. However, it’s important to note that ALDI’s selection in these categories is more limited than Costco’s.

While ALDI may have a different level of brand recognition than Costco, it has built a strong reputation among customers for its low prices, quality products, and efficient shopping experience. This has allowed ALDI to carve out a strong position in the discount retail market and compete effectively with Costco in specific categories.


Amazon is a global e-commerce giant founded in 1994 by Jeff Bezos. It started as an online bookstore but quickly expanded to offer a wide range of products, including electronics, clothing, and home goods. Today, Amazon is one of the largest retailers in the world, with a market capitalization of over $1.5 trillion.

The company poses a significant threat due to its vast product selection, competitive prices, and convenient online shopping experience. While Costco focuses on offering bulk products at discounted prices, Amazon provides a wide variety of products from different brands and sellers. This allows customers to find almost anything they need on a single platform, without needing a membership.

In addition, Amazon’s Prime membership program offers benefits such as free two-day shipping, access to streaming services, and exclusive deals. This is a direct competitor to Costco’s membership model, as both aim to provide added value to customers through membership perks.

Amazon has recently moved into the grocery space by acquiring Whole Foods Market. This puts it in direct competition with Costco’s Kirkland Signature brand, which offers high-quality private-label grocery products.

Amazon’s expansion into the healthcare industry with the acquisition of PillPack also has the potential to encroach on Costco’s pharmacy services. Both companies strive to provide convenience and competitive pricing for prescription medications, making them direct competitors in this space.

BJ’s Wholesale Club

BJ’s Wholesale Club is a warehouse club retailer in the eastern United States. Founded in Massachusetts in 1984, BJ’s offers a wide range of products, including groceries, electronics, appliances, home goods, and more. The company primarily competes with Costco in the warehouse club industry.

Like Costco, BJ’s Wholesale Club offers its members discounted prices on bulk purchases, allowing them to save money on shopping. Both companies attract customers looking to buy in bulk and take advantage of wholesale prices. BJ’s also offers a variety of services to its members, including a tire center, optical department, and gas station.

Also competing with Costco is BJ’s Wholesale Club’s private-label brand, Berkley Jensen. This brand offers a wide range of products, including food, household goods, personal care items, and more. While Costco has its own private label brand, Kirkland Signature, the Berkley Jensen brand provides BJ’s Wholesale Club with a competitive advantage in offering unique products to its members.

BJ’s Wholesale Club also competes with Costco through its online shopping platform. Both companies provide their members the convenience of ordering products online and picking them up in-store or delivering them to their doorstep. This allows BJ’s to cater to the needs of customers who prefer to shop online and offers a competitive alternative to Costco’s online shopping experience.


Staples is an American office supply retail corporation founded in 1986 in Brighton, Massachusetts. The company sells office supplies, furniture, technology products, and business services. Staples operates both online and through its physical retail stores, providing customers with a convenient and efficient shopping experience.

One of the key ways in which Staples competes with Costco is through its wide range of office supplies and furniture. Staples offers a comprehensive selection of products for businesses of all sizes, from small startups to large corporations. This includes everything from pens and paper to printers and office chairs. By offering a diverse range of products, Staples aims to meet the needs of its customers and provide them with a one-stop solution for all their office supply needs.

In addition to its product selection, Staples also competes with Costco through its business services. Staples provides various services to support businesses, including copy and print, shipping and packing, and technology services. These services are designed to help businesses operate more efficiently and effectively, saving them time and resources. By offering these services, Staples seeks to differentiate itself from competitors like Costco and provide added value to its customers.

While Staples primarily focuses on office supplies and services, it also offers technology products, including computers, laptops, and accessories. This puts it in direct competition with Costco, which sells electronics and tech products. However, Staples differentiates itself by specializing in office technology and providing expertise and support specifically tailored to business customers.


Albertsons is a well-established grocery retailer that operates a chain of supermarkets across the United States. The company was founded in 1939 and has since grown to become one of the largest supermarket chains in the country.

Albertsons offers similar products to Costco, including groceries, household items, and everyday essentials. Both retailers target customers looking for affordable options and value for their money. However, there are a few key differences between the two.

Firstly, while Costco operates on a membership-based model, Albertsons does not require a membership to shop in their stores. This gives Albertsons an advantage in attracting customers who prefer shopping without membership obligations or fees.

Secondly, Albertsons has a strong focus on convenience. The company offers relatively superior online grocery shopping and delivery services, allowing customers to shop from the comfort of their homes and have their purchases delivered directly to their doorstep. On the other hand, Costco primarily operates as a brick-and-mortar retailer with limited online shopping options.

Albertsons owns and operates popular supermarket chains such as Safeway, Vons, and Jewel-Osco, which compete directly with Costco. These grocery store brands, with their broad range of products and competitive pricing, compete directly with Costco’s own grocery offerings.

In addition, Albertsons has been expanding its store formats to include smaller-format stores like Albertsons Express and Albertsons Market, which focus on providing convenience to customers in urban areas. These smaller-format stores cater to customers who may need more space or need bulk purchases offered by Costco. This allows Albertsons to capture a different market segment and compete in areas where Costco may have a limited presence.


Lowe’s Companies, Inc., is a leading American home improvement retailer founded in 1921. With over 1,700 stores across the United States and Canada, Lowe’s operates in a highly competitive market, directly competing with Costco in the home improvement category.

Lowe’s offers a wide range of products for DIY home improvement projects, including building materials, appliances, tools, paint, and gardening supplies. While Costco also provides some home improvement products, Lowe’s has a much more extensive and specialized selection, catering specifically to homeowners and contractors.

One area where Lowe’s competes directly with Costco is in their appliance offerings. Both retailers carry a variety of appliances, including refrigerators, dishwashers, washers, dryers, and more. However, Lowe’s has a distinct advantage in this category as it offers a larger selection of brands, styles, and price points. Additionally, Lowe’s has an extensive network of delivery and installation services, providing customers convenience and peace of mind.

Another area where Lowe’s competes with Costco is in the gardening and outdoor category. Lowe’s offers a comprehensive range of gardening tools, plants, outdoor furniture, and landscaping materials. On the other hand, Costco has a smaller selection of these items and focuses more on bulk and value-oriented offerings. This difference in approach allows Lowe’s to cater to a broader range of customers, from those looking for high-end outdoor decor to those seeking affordable solutions for their gardening needs.

Lowe’s also competes with Costco in the building materials’ category. Lowe’s is a go-to destination for contractors and DIY enthusiasts, offering a wide range of lumber, roofing materials, plumbing fixtures, and electrical supplies. Costco, while also carrying some building materials, has a different level of expertise and variety than Lowe’s, making Lowe’s a preferred choice for customers with specific construction or renovation needs.

Dollar General

Dollar General is a discount retailer that operates more than 19,000 stores nationwide. Founded in 1939, Dollar General has built a reputation for offering a wide selection of everyday products at affordable prices.

While Costco focuses on bulk purchases and offers a wide range of products at discounted prices, Dollar General caters to customers looking for convenience and low prices on everyday essentials. Dollar General stores are typically smaller in size compared to Costco warehouses. Still, they are strategically located in rural and suburban areas, making them easily accessible to a more extensive customer base.

Dollar General’s business model centers around providing customers with a convenient shopping experience, with many stores open for extended hours and offering a variety of products, including groceries, household goods, and health and beauty items. This aligns with Costco’s focus on providing a one-stop shopping experience, albeit on a smaller scale.

Dollar General also competes with Costco through its private label brands, which provide customers with affordable alternatives to national brands. By offering its own branded products, Dollar General can maintain lower prices and attract price-conscious shoppers.


Carrefour is a multinational retail corporation founded in 1959 and based in France. With over 13,000 stores in more than 30 countries, Carrefour is one of the largest retail chains in the world. The company operates a variety of store formats, including hypermarkets, supermarkets, convenience stores, and cash and carry outlets.

Competing with Costco, Carrefour offers a similar range of products at competitive prices. Both companies focus on providing a wide selection of products to meet the needs of their customers. Carrefour’s hypermarkets, in particular, offer a one-stop shopping experience for consumers, similar to Costco’s warehouse clubs. These hypermarkets feature a range of products, including groceries, household goods, electronics, clothing, and more.

Carrefour has also expanded its presence in the e-commerce space to compete with companies like Costco. The company offers online grocery shopping and delivery services, allowing customers to shop for everyday essentials conveniently. This aligns with Costco’s focus on providing convenience and a seamless customer shopping experience.


While Costco remains a dominant force in the retail industry, it is essential to acknowledge the presence of strong competitors and compelling alternatives. 

Costco’s competitors, such as Walmart and Amazon, offer similar products at competitive prices, backed by extensive networks and robust online platforms. In addition, regional and specialty retailers like Target and BJ’s Wholesale Club present viable alternatives with their unique offerings and loyal customer bases.

As the retail landscape continues to evolve, Costco must stay agile and innovative to maintain its competitive edge and satisfy the ever-changing demands of consumers.



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