Mad Money

Big TVs Hot This Holiday Season, Costco CEO Says

Home electronics — specifically large-screen TVs — look to be the big seller this holiday season, Costco founder and outgoing CEO Jim Sinegal said Friday.

“I think home entertainment is going to be very hot. We’re very pleased to see some of the 70-inch television sets,” he told “Mad Money” host Jim Cramer. “We have an 80-inch in some of our locations.”

Costco, which is the third-largest retailer in the United States and the seventh-largest in the world, does almost $2 billion in TV sales annually. Sinegal said his main concern is keeping them in stock.

“There’s a little anxiety about the fact that some of the major manufacturers might be cutting a little bit in anticipation of a somber Christmas,” he said.

Sinegal, who plans to step down from the helm of Costco when he turns 76 on Jan. 1, has seen a meteoric rise in the company he co-founded with Chairman Jeff Brotman.

The stock has seen a 4,793 percent gain from where it came public in 1985 at a split adjusted price of $1.67 a share.

Sinegal said there’s still room for the company to grow.

“We’ve underestimated the amount of market share there is available for us in various markets for us in various markets to be able to grow our business,” he said.

Asked what his biggest legacy was, Sinegal said, “We’ve built a team that’s capable of running a business this size. I really do believe that’s one of the most important things a management team can do.”

Sinegal also called health care “a necessity.”

“We have a responsibility to the people who work for us. I mean, we would rather turn our inventory fast as opposed to our people,” he said. “When you look at the value composition with our employees, we’re paying the highest wages and have the highest health care, yet we’re providing the lowest prices.”

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