Richard Galanti, CFO of Costco Wholesale was our featured speaker at the Chamber of Commerce luncheon, Dec. 1 at the Community and Event Center on Mercer Island.
Galanti has been a part of Costco since its very beginning in the early 1980s; first as a broker helping the company with a $7.5 million funding deal, and shortly after as its CFO. The frank, personable executive puts a premium on being approachable to the public and employees and cultivating a “jerk-free” work culture.
Costco, a worldwide retail chain and Washington’s largest public company by revenue in 2015, has more than $112.4 billion in sales.
Mr. Galanti described online sales for the latest quarter as “pretty choppy” with comps up seven percent overall. He said sales fluctuated from being up by mid-single digits at the start of the quarter and to up low-double digits at the end.
He also said Costco was improving its online search function, shortening the steps to check out, making it easier for customers to track orders, and automating returns.
Costco is improving its distribution logistics as well, Mr. Galanti said.
“We have increased the number of depots from where we fill online orders, so closer and faster and less expensive delivery,” he said (via Seeking Alpha). “And again, look for more improved and quicker distribution comments from us in early calendar 2017.”
Costco’s CFO said the company was looking to improve its merchandise mix online including “adding more exciting high-end brands in merchandise on an everyday basis.”
He showed us multiple fun, hilarious and informative videos about Costco, including a few international videos showing how different Costco operates in multiple countries. He spoke of ethics and how the culture of Costco is to take care of their employees.
It was a great experience and we all enjoyed the talk very much. Richard even opened it at the end and answered questions regarding stock and animal treatment.