Costco Japan has announced plans to launch an online store next year.
New online store in 2019
Costco's new ecommerce service will aim to capitalise on growing popularity of online shopping in Japan. It will be particularly relevant to those looking to purchase in bulk, taking advantage of home delivery for heavy but essential items such as water and rice.
Full details of the service such as product range and exact launch date are still being finalised. Customers using the online store will likely have to pay an annual membership fee as in physical stores, currently JPY4,752 (US$43).
Establishing stronger presence in Japan
In preparation for servicing online orders, Costco plans to expand its existing distribution network. The retailer also plans to expand its store network in the country from 26 to 50 outlets by 2030.
Costco in Asia
Costco Japan offers a differentiated shopping experience compared to many domestic Japanese retailers. Stores are quite American in style, in terms of store format, range and customer service.
In Asia, Costco operates physical stores in Japan, Taiwan and South Korea. Last month, the retailer announced plans to establish a physical presence in China, building on its existing operations on Tmall. It aims to open its first brick-and-mortar store in Shanghai’s Minhang district in 2019.