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Wine Spectator: Costco Meets The Millennials

July 31, 2018

“Will Millennials kill Costco?” wondered a Washington Post headline a few months back. It was hardly the first story to question how big-box retailers could adapt to a generation that is painted as allergic to the supermarket run and the mall day, preferring to shop online for most items.

As if in response, Nasdaq published a Costco article of its own June 7: “Why Costco (COST) Stock Hit a New High on Thursday.” COST has further gained since then. In fact, among retailers, Costco is sui generis in many ways that appeal to the Millennial demographic. For example, last year, it was widely reported that Costco had surpassed Whole Foods as the country’s top retailer of organic food products by value, and its emphasis on fair wages, corporate philanthropy, and sustainability measures is also a draw for the younger set, which is known as willing to open their wallets for companies and products they consider ethical. Costco, of course, has another thing Millennials love: wine. It’s one of the biggest wine retailers on the planet, and boasts a highly successful private label range under its Kirkland Signature brand.

Wine Spectator recently caught up with Costco’s head wine, beer, and spirits buyer Annette Alvarez-Peters to discuss how the retail giant’s wine program has evolved recently along with the rise of the Millennial generation.—Ben O’Donnell

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