Within the last few days I have read of two very different things that could or should be sold at Costco, according to the articles’ authors.
First, the Amazon Kindle electronic book reader:
At $360, the Kindle is still an expensive toy — especially if you haven’t had a chance to play with one. Amazon, without retail stores, doesn’t make it easy to try one out in person before you buy one. And given its niche uptake so far, it’s unlikely your roommates or coworkers have one you can try out.
But a Kindle display at Costco’s 400-plus U.S. stores could solve that problem for many people: It’s the kind of store that’s going to attract smart shoppers during an economic downturn, and it’s also the kind of place where people are comfortable dropping $1,500 on a hi-def TV (or a 200-gallon vat of ketchup).
And, how about super-cheap Chinese cars:
Kathleen Ligocki, CEO of GS Motors and formerly president of Ford of Mexico, expects Chinese-designed cars to begin production in Mexico in 2010—and make their way to the US about five years after first testing the waters in Latin America and Canada. GS Motors, a Mexican company, already imports three models from China’s First Auto Works (FAW) and sold 4,000 of them in Mexico last year.
Here’s the zinger: Ligocki believes Chinese cars will be sold in the US through big-box stores like Costco or Wal-Mart, which is how GS Motors is retailing them in Mexico.
GS is building an assembly plant in Michoacan, Mexico with FAW. The plan is for vehicles to roll off the line beginning in 2010. GS Motors will launch the FAW brand in Mexico this year with the F1 Hatchback, an entry-level car sold for under $5,500.
Can you imagine a new car for $5500? I would seriously question the safety of such a thing.
Anyway, neither of these things is happening any time soon, if at all, but it’s interesting to think about.