Cost-U-Less opened its first retail warehouse store in 1989, on the Hawaiian island of Maui. In 1992, Cost-U-Less initiated its expansion by opening stores in relatively remote island locations, the first of which was in Dededo, Guam. Today Cost-U-Less operates warehouse club-style stores in the United States Territories, the Hawaiian Islands, foreign island countries in the Pacific and the Caribbean and Sonora, California. Our primary strategy is to operate in island markets, offering predominately U.S. branded goods.
While the typical U.S. consumer has virtually unlimited access to popular U.S. brand-name products, these products are carried by relatively few local retailers in a number of island markets. As a result, a strong yet largely unsatisfied demand for certain U.S. branded products exists. Moreover, island markets often demonstrate unique consumer preferences, which typically require retailers to conduct local research and incorporate flexible merchandise purchasing policies in order to offer a diverse selection of local products, as well as popular U.S. brand-name products.
Cost-U-Less has developed a depth of expertise in dealing with the inherent challenges of island market operations and has refined a building prototype that is designed to endure most severe island weather conditions and that incorporates low construction costs and easily replicated specifications. Through our long-standing relationships with shipping companies, we are able to negotiate competitive transportation rates while selecting efficient shipping routes and utilizing cost-effective freight handling techniques, including the use of both company-operated cross-dock depots and independently operated distribution facilities. Cost-U-Less stores do not charge membership fees.