When industry leader Costco Wholesale sought expansion overseas, there were numerous nuanced considerations—culture, capacity, jurisdictional requirements, materials, cost, timeframes, structure variants, building codes, and beyond—that Costco needed to consider in order to ensure their debut in Asia would be an outright success. They employed long-time partner MG2 to help them tackle these challenges and provide a localized, reliable, inherently “Costco Wholesale” experience for new consumer bases across multiple countries.
Taking up residence in urban areas experiencing explosive population growth, real estate and structure footprint are major considerations with each Costco Wholesale designed and built in Asia. The employment of multilevel retail warehouses—a more common practice overseas than here in the United States—provide spatial solutions, but still require careful programming and custom resolutions that designers consider and tailor to each unique location.
While shopping at a wholesale retailer in the United States is unique unto itself, the experience can be different and novel in countries like Japan, China, Taiwan, and South Korea, where spending a day at Costco Wholesale can be a destination-worthy, family-wide event. Costco and MG2 teams diligently analyzed and documented the shopping habits of each location, accounting for variants like capacity control, cultural norms, and community preferences. Departments were designed to flex within the stores, catering to regional tastes, such as robust sushi departments in Japan.
With our breadth and depth of Costco project knowledge and working with the country managers through the decades, MG2 continuously delivers immediate solutions for ad-hoc challenges, such as adding new departments post-opening. Based on the unique design requirements for each location, our team has standardized each structure’s needs, working closely with Costco Wholesale operations on how they utilize their spaces. In addition to streamlining our process, MG2 has been able to control the soft cost which varies by country, ensuring no project goes over budget.
Our symbiotic relationship continues today, with our most recent projects utilizing breakthrough technology such as VR walkthroughs for executives to view floors before the opening of a new location. As Costco Wholesale’s expansion initiatives continue to grow across China and other regions, MG2’s designs continue to push boundaries and revolutionize the wholesale shopping experience in Asia.