From coffee to candy, collared shirts, and coffins, it's tough to find an item you can't buy -- even in bulk -- at Costco. The wholesale retailer was founded in 1983. It is the biggest specialty retailer in the U.S. and the only top-10 specialty retailer with a membership model. Low prices, expert merchandising, and industry-high employee wages are what's behind Costco's success. Now its executives are pushing wholesale shopping internationally. They're getting results: Overseas sales more than doubled from 2008 to 2013. While other traditional American retailers struggle to remain competitive in international markets, Costco's no-fuss warehouse-shopping model is a new experience for foreign consumers. Surprisingly, people in Asian markets are adapting well to shopping in bulk -- even if it means strapping pallets of toilet paper and oversize teddy bears to the back of their mopeds as they zoom away from the parking lot.
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