Costco enters Sweden: what can we expect?

Date : 23 March 2021

Harriet Cohen

Senior Retail Analyst

Following much speculation, Costco is reported to be entering Sweden in autumn 2022. The leading retailer, which reported revenue growth of 9.1% to $166.2bn in 2020, is due to open its first store north of Stockholm in Täby.

13,000 sq. m premises secured in growing location

Trophi, ‘the Nordic region’s leading real estate company in the grocery trade’ has confirmed a contract for premises of 13,000 sq. m at Arninge Station, part of a shopping center.

A new public transport hub is being developed, which is expected to improve access to the shopping center, while thousands of new homes are being built in Arninge and Ullna.

A spokesperson from Costco said, ‘Costco is very happy to be able to offer our concept with membership to Täby and the wider market in the entire Stockholm region in the near future. We will offer consumers a wide range of quality products and services at low prices’.

How many stores do we expect Costco to open?

New Costco markets typically see one to three clubs in the first five years, followed by an additional three to five clubs in the following five years.

However, store establishment in Spain (market entry 2014) and France (market entry 2017), has been limited. Since opening in Spain, Costco has established just three stores  and in France, just one store. Costco is likely to face challenges with securing sites large enough to accommodate its premises, which often slows the pace of expansion in international markets.

 Looking for more insight on Costco?

IGD Retail Analysis subscribers can access our exclusive insight presentation, ‘Strategic outlook for Costco’, where we consider:

  • Costco today and tomorrow
  • Strategic priorities
  • Costco in key markets
  • Supplier implications

Axfood debuted a similar concept in 2020

In related news, in late 2020, Axfood opened its first Snabbgross Club B2C concept, which offers the public access for an annual fee of SEK 299 (€29.40). However, this concept at 3,000 sq. m is much smaller than the average Costco, which is around 13,000 sq. m in size.
Read more about Snabbgross Club in this exclusive IGD article, ‘10 trends that defined 2020 in Sweden (part two)’.

Retail Analysis weekly newsletter

Keep up-to-date with the latest retail developments shaping the industry.

Sign up for our newsletter »

As one of the major success stories of 2020, we review the strategic priorities for Costco and the opportunities for suppliers to engage further with one of the world's largest retailers.

We reveal the trends driving this exceptional year in Sweden and report on the impact on retailer strategy.

Costco opened its first store in China on 27 August 2019, we assess how the retailer has approached market entry and how it is looking to win in Asia’s largest grocery market.