According to reports, buying essential household items in bulk from Costco is limited. The company is putting limitations on things like toilet paper, paper towels, and bottled water amid inflation and supply-chain complications.
Costco's Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Richard A. Galanti revealed that the company has been dealing with significant issues regarding the supply-chain and inflation.
He told analysts during a conference call:
From a supply chain perspective, the factors pressuring supply chains and inflation include port delays, container shortages, COVID disruptions, shortages on various components, raw materials and ingredients, labor cost pressures and trucker and driver shortages — trucks and driver shortages. Domestically, anecdotally rather from a — even on a domestic side, various major brands are requesting longer lead times. Some cases difficulty in finding drivers and trucks on short notice. Lead times on ingredients and packaging have been extended in some cases.
Galanti added, “Also we’re putting some limitations on key items like bath tissues, roll towels, Kirkland Signature water, high demand related SKUs related to the uptick in the Delta related demand.”
At the beginning of 2020, there was a drastic shortage on household essential, like toilet paper, which caused panic purchasing.
Costco’s CFO went on to note the company is experiencing significant delays when it comes to receiving shipments on items such as furniture, children’s toys, seasonal items, and chips that are essential to electronics such as “computers, tablets, video games,” and other “major appliances.” Galanti noted shipments that traditionally took eight to 12 weeks are now taking 16 to 18 weeks and suggested the trend will likely continue into 2022.
Shipping costs have become significantly higher for Costco and other companies throughout America. Specifically shipping goods across oceans has become increasingly costly. “Some suppliers are… paying two to six times for containers and shipping,” Galanti noted. “Price increases of pulp and paper goods, some items up 4% to 8%.”
“Plastics, resin increases on things like trash bags, Ziplock skews, pet products include — resin oriented pet products, plastic cups, plates, plastic wrap, many items up in the 5% to 11% range,” he added.
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