Optimizing SKU lineup equals success with Curtis at Costco

Costco buys items rather than categories, so Curtis and his team have the ability to make any one SKU a blockbuster.

ISSAQUAH, Wash. — Vic Curtis has come a long way since he began working for Costco Wholesale in 1991 as a pharmacy manager. 

Recently, he was promoted to SVP pharmacy and has seen action in prescription and OTC merchandising, pharmacy operations, mail-order and Internet-based pharmacy, and pharmacy benefit management services, as part of Costco’s team led by Charlie Burnett, the “dean” of Costco’s pharmacy/health and beauty business.

With Costco’s limited SKU format, success hinges on being able to turn and optimize its SKU lineup, thus keeping the best performers, Curtis told Drug Store News. “Costco’s sales continue to be strong even in this tough economy,” he said. “We believe stepping up our efforts to increase the value and quality of the products we sell is resonating with our members,” he said. In his capacity and because of Costco’s unique “item management” approach to the business, Curtis and his team have the ability to make any single SKU an overnight sensation.

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