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The Wall Street Journal reports on how Costco has found a successful business model in Asia. Take, for example, a Costco store in Taiwan:

“Inside are aisles of merchandise stacked floor-to-ceiling. But mixed in with such familiar U.S. products as Tide detergent and Pepperidge Farm cookies are local favorites such as sea cucumber, mahjong sets, and stewed and braised beef noodle soup.

“Offering an experience that's authentically American while cultivating local tastes has proved a successful formula that has made the store, located in Taipei's high-tech Neihu district, the 567-store chain's second most profitable, behind a Korean outlet.”

“‘What we've done here is reflective of what we do in all of our international markets,’ said Richard Chang, Costco's Taiwan chief in an interview in Taipei. ‘We want to make it as authentic as possible, but we also want to localize. It's proven to be a successful combination’.”

The Journal writes that “Costco is planning further expansion in all of its Asian markets, including doubling its Taiwan store count in the next five years from six and opening a distribution center. It also is accelerating its expansion in Australia.” And, the newspaper notes, “Taiwan offers a nice template should Costco decide to enter an even bigger market: China.”
KC's View:
Want evidence of globalization? The Journal reports that the Taipei Costco’s top bakery item is bagels, made from dough imported from New York, an selling more than 50,000 a week.

Costco has a lot of work to do if it is to keep pace with the Asian growth efforts of companies like Walmart, Carrefour and Tesco. Then again, Costco never seems driven by keeping up with the other guys ...