Does Walmart Own Costco? [Who Owns It, Differences & More]

Is Walmart and Costco owned by the same company? Is it true that Walmart owns Costco? Here's a simple guide with all the answers you seek.

Both Walmart and Costco are some of the biggest retailers in the US and worldwide.

They both provide an extensive range of products as well as competitive prices,  but there are some key differences between the two.

In this article, you can find out if Walmart owns Costco, the key differences between the two stores, and more. Read on to learn more.

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Is Costco Owned By Walmart In 2023?

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No, Costco is not owned by Walmart.

While they do offer their customers very similar stock,  services, and prices, the two companies are actually competitors.

Walmart is a publicly-traded company, and Costco is privately-owned. 

This means that Walmart is owned by investors, while Costco is owned by a private, multinational company.

What Are The Differences Between Walmart And Costco?

One of the key differences between Costco and Walmart is that Costco is a membership-based store.

This means that in order to shop at Costco to get the best deals, you have to pay for a membership. While you can still shop at Costco without a Costco Membership, you will benefit most from the competitive prices with a membership if you are a regular shopper.

Walmart, on the other hand, is open to the public and does not require a membership in order for customers to avail themselves of many great deals.

Another difference between the two stores is that Costco has a stricter return policy.

If you are not happy with a product that you have bought from Costco, you can only return it within 90 days and you must have your original receipt.

Walmart, on the other hand, can find your receipt in their system, allowing you to return a purchase without the original receipt within a 90-day period as well.

However, beware of Walmart’s return policy when it comes to returning laptops and computers, as those only have a 15-day return window.

Who Are Walmarts Biggest Competitors?

Costco exterior

Besides Costco, Walmart’s biggest competitors are companies like Target, Kmart, and Sears.

These stores offer similar products at similar prices, making them direct competitors to Walmart.

Costco’s main competitor is Sam’s Club, which is a membership-based store that also offers products at discounted prices to its members.

What Does Costco Offer That Walmart Doesn’t?

Costco offers a wider range of products than Walmart does.

This includes everything from groceries to appliances to clothes.

In addition, Costco has a section of its store that is dedicated to selling only organic and sustainable products, which Walmart does not have.

Finally, one of the things that Costco is best known for is its free samples. You can find free samples of products all over the store, which is a unique feature of Costco.

However, Walmart does offer customers the option to buy products online with their pick-up service, which is very similar to Costco’s online shopping option.

How Many Costco and Walmart Stores Are There In The US?

Walmart store exterior

While Costco does offer their customers a larger range of products than Walmart, Walmart does offer their customers more convenience.

This is because Walmart has 4155 extra stores over Costco’s 558 stores in the US and Puerto Rico, making finding a Walmart store easier than finding a Costco nearby.

Conclusion – Are Costco And Walmart The Same Company?

No, Walmart and Costco are not the same company.

While they offer similar products at similar prices, they are both competitors in the market for affordable shopping needs.

Walmart offers their customers more convenience by having more stores available with their pick-up service option.

Costco’s competitive pricing is offset by the membership fee that customers must pay in order to take advantage of the deals.

The two companies offer different products and services, which makes them both unique and valuable in the world of affordable shopping.

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Arthur Beringer

Arthur graduated in 2002 with a Master's in Business Administration from LSU Alexandria. After working in the retail industry for almost 20 years, he decided to quit and write full-time to help readers who are searching online for consumer-related answers.