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Costco's Co-Founder on Retail Today

Brendan Byrnes
August 9, 2013

Join The Motley Fool for a conversation with retired Costco (NASDAQ: COST) CEO Jim Sinegal. In love with retail since his first job as a bagger in 1954, Jim co-founded Costco and served as president and CEO of the retail giant from 1983 until his retirement in January 2012.

Jim recalls Costco's beginnings and what's changed, then takes a look forward to the future of retail, why Best Buy and others are struggling, and how e-commerce fits into the picture.

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Brendan Byrnes: When you look back at Costco over all the years from when you co-founded it to today, what do you think is the biggest thing that's changed over those years?

Jim Sinegal: I think we've gotten better at doing our job. I think that we've been able to instill the types of things in the corporate DNA that are going to ensure that we're successful in the future, and that we understand as well today as we ever have the disciplines that are necessary in our business.

Anybody can sell merchandise for low prices. The trick is to be able to do it well and to make money while you're doing it. I think that we've matured. We've become better. We've become better merchants. We've become better at selecting the right type of merchandise for the customers. I think we've improved some of our departments significantly over those years.

Brendan: Taking more of a 3