retail news in context, analysis with attitude

The Street has a story about how Costco is continuing to eliminate the sale of all tobacco products from its stores, a process that it actually started three or four years ago - even before CVS announced that it was doing the same thing.

According to the story, "Costco is eliminating tobacco from some of its core warehouses and pushing that business instead to its Business Centers, which sell products tailored to local businesses." A spokesman for the company puts it in business terms: "Tobacco is a very low margin business, tends to have higher theft and is labor intensive in some cases (due to local municipality regulations) -- further, we felt we could better use the space to merchandise other items."

Costco says it will continue selling tobacco out of its business centers, which sell products tailored to local businesses.

When CVS made its highly publicized decision, it emphasized the health issues, saying it could not be a legitimate health care purveyor and still sell products so directly connected to illness and death. (Though, to be sure, the low margin nature of the business had to take some of the pain out of the decision.)

Asked why Costco had not been more public about its tobacco-elimination plans, a spokesman said, "We don't do releases at Costco, they are a waste of money."
KC's View:
I don't care why stores stop selling this crap. Business reasons, ethical reasons, marketing reasons. Doesn't matter to me. These products are designed to addict and kill people.