Welcome to Costco PQ!

Costco is a behemoth among food retailers and only one visit will convince you of that fact.

Aside from Monday mornings or hockey playoffs games, there is a constant stream of busy consumers coming in and out of its wholesale clubs.

Indeed, customers shop so much at Costco that they are literally transformed into movers, having to push around 300, 400-pound carts on average.

With reported sales of $ 21 billion in Canada for 91 stores, Costco generates sales of approximately $ 4.8 billion in Quebec with its 21 stores, or $ 230 million annually per store.

This is a huge volume for such a small number of stores, hence the question: is Costco open to the sale of Quebec products?

Surprisingly, a press coverage review on the topic generates very few articles. Considering the importance of Costco in the market and Quebec’s sensitivity on such issue, this is suspicious.

Could it be so simply because Costco is doing things right and consequently, is leaving nothing to say about it? We went to a store to see for ourselves.

This approach is in no way scientific, but still! We’ll see.

 

We started our visit with the tenacious impression that Costco, being an American chain, sells a lot of US products. These Contigo bottles, for example, showcased when entering the store, are designed in the country of Donald Trump.

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Although probably manufactured in China, this product is marketed by a Chicago-based company.

 

However, at the very beginning, we stumbled across a nice Quebec product in the unexpected hardware section. Indeed, this metal support that fits under the sink is marketed by Montreal-based Richelieu, an importer, distributor and manufacturer of specialty hardware and complementary products that is even listed on the stock exchange.

 

In the cleaning products section, another surprise: several Quebec products including Hertel disinfectant and La Parisienne softener.

 

In the bakery section, Quebec products are kings. Here you can find Fairmount bagels …

 

St-Méthode bread with no less than 100% Quebec flour … (didn’t know that we grow wheat in Quebec)

 

Even pita bread comes from Quebec!

 

Where you would expect to see the most Quebec products and actually see the least, is in the fruit and vegetables section …

 

In the midst of the strawberry picking season in Quebec, Costco offers us strawberries from California as juicy as paper. Costco’s lack of Quebec’s fruit and vegetables has often been denounced by the Association des jardiniers maraîchers du Québec, even though they admit that Costco sells “apples, carrots, onions, lettuce and cranberries that grow in Quebec”.

 

That being so, in the grocery section, there is a cornucopia of Quebec products with several Plaisirs Gastronomiques products.

 

And it is certainly not Costco’s fault if St-Hubert has just been sold to Ontario-based Cara!

 

The same goes for Whippet cookies, which are now owned by Ontario-based Dare, but still made in Quebec.

 

This crab offered in a kiosk did not come from the Quebec Îles-de-la-Madeleine, but from Alaska.

 

On the other hand, these Atlantic shrimp are distributed by IFC Seafood, an importer based in Laval, Quebec.

 

These pork skewers are also made in La Belle Province.

We could go on for a while, but as we can see in this independent visit, it is not difficult at all to find a large abundance of Quebec products on Costco’s shelves, much more in fact than we expected.

Many other sections that we have not covered are full of them, including books, cds, wine, beer and so on.

It is crystal clear to us, at least, that Costco, in no way, shape or form, discriminates against Quebec products: perhaps, on the contrary, it does even a little more than expected.

As a result, Costco’s success in Quebec, which benefits consumers (and create jobs… more than 6 000 in fact), also benefits Quebec producers and manufacturers, which is a perfect win-win situation for Quebeckers!

DepQuébec

Cet article est rédigé par DepQuébec, le premier portail web au Québec de l'industrie des dépanneurs. / This article is written by DepQuebec, the first web portal devoted to the Quebec depanneur industry.

DepQuébec has 493 posts and counting. See all posts by DepQuébec

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