Supply chain and stocking issues have long been seen at America's favorite warehouse chain—who can forget the piles of giant toilet paper packs stacked up in members' carts? But it looks like alleviating the pains will be taking a little longer, according to Costco leaders.
In a recent earnings call with investors, Costco's Chief Financial Officer Richard Galanti said that "virtually all departments are impacted [by] less product and packaging challenges." (For more on what's changing at the warehouse in your neighborhood, here are 6 Things You'll See at Costco This Year.)
This is happening, he notes, despite the company chartering seven cargo ships to import items—up from the three the company started with last year plus additional containers. Galanti says the company will use them for the next three years between Asia, Canada, and the U.S. "With these additions, about a quarter of our annual transpacific containers and shipment needs are being accommodated this way, which gives us additional supply chain flexibility," Galanti said. Each ship can hold between 800 and 1,000 containers.
Thanks to these measures, supply is improving a little bit in different departments at Costco warehouses. Still, Galanti suggested another strategy is to order items well in advance when possible—since delays were an average of 51 days, but as high as 18 weeks in some cases in 2021.
Despite these delays, Costco's sales in the last few months have gone up, and Galanti reiterated that shelves are staying full. Then again, members should not be surprised if some items have less supply and shelves are stocked with other things to fill the space.
Costco isn't the only one making changes in response to the current retail climate… see how This Costco Rival Is Opening Up New Locations Across the Country.