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As Costco CEO Retires, Rethink Retail?

With Costco’s co-founder and CEO, Jim Sinegal, announcing he’s planning on stepping down on January 1st, is it time to rethink retail?

Absolutely not, according to Fast trader Patty Edwards of Trutina—our resident expert in retail. She's a big fan of Costco and has no worries at all about the changing of the guard.

However, Edwards’ perspective may hold even more weight. She lives and works near Seattle, where Costco is headquartered and she gets the culture of this company.

And that culture is the reason she’s confident that Costco’s success will continue when Craig Jelinek, who's now president and COO, takes the helm.

“This is a culture where all of the top management have worked their way up. You can’t get to be a buyer at Costco unless you’ve been an assistant buyer prior to that,” the Fast trader said, pointing out that Jelinek has been with the company since 1984.

“So this is something where you have a culture that is more engrained there than any other retailer I’ve actually ever seen and I think that culture will continue.”

And it’s not as if these guys haven’t been preparing. Sinegal and his soon-to-be-replacement have been working together for over eighteen months to put the transition together, she said.

But that doesn’t mean our Fast retail expert wants you to run out and buy shares of Costco right away.

However, Edwards said if there is a buying opportunity in the mid-$70s, she’d be “snapping it up.”

“Over the long run these guys are absolutely in the right positioning in terms of the consumer they sell to, which is the Nordstrom (upscale) consumer, and how they are going about building their business overseas,” Edwards said.


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Trader disclosure: On September 1, 2011, the following stocks and commodities mentioned or intended to be mentioned on CNBC’s "Fast Money" were owned by the "Fast Money" traders; Adami Owns (AGU); Adami Owns (C); Adami Owns (GS); Adami Owns (INTC); Adami Owns (MSFT); Adami Owns (NUE); Adami Owns (BTU); Cortes is long Treasuries
Cortes is long (WMT); Cortes is long (SO); Cortes is long the Swiss Franc; Steve Grasso owns (AMD); Steve Grasso owns (ASTM); Steve Grasso owns (BA); Steve Grasso owns (BAC); Steve Grasso owns (C); Steve Grasso owns (D); Steve Grasso owns (JPM); Steve Grasso owns (LIT); Steve Grasso owns (LPX); Steve Grasso owns (LVS); Steve Grasso owns (MAR); Steve Grasso owns (MHY); Steve Grasso owns (NDAQ); Steve Grasso owns (PFE); Steve Grasso owns (PRST); Steve Grasso owns (XHB); Steve Grasso owns (XLB); Steve Grasso owns (XLI)

For Steve Grasso
Stuart Frankel & Co and its partners own (CSCO)
Stuart Frankel & Co and its partners own (CUBA)
Stuart Frankel & Co and its partners own (GERN)
Stuart Frankel & Co and its partners own (FDX)
Stuart Frankel & Co and its partners own (HPQ)
Stuart Frankel & Co and its partners own (HSPO)
Stuart Frankel & Co and its partners own (JPM)
Stuart Frankel & Co and its partners own (MET)
Stuart Frankel & Co and its partners own (MSFT)
Stuart Frankel & Co and its partners own (MU)
Stuart Frankel & Co and its partners own (NYX)
Stuart Frankel & Co and its partners own (PFE)
Stuart Frankel & Co and its partners own (PRST)
Stuart Frankel & Co and its partners own (RHT)
Stuart Frankel & Co and its partners own (SDS)
Stuart Frankel & Co and its partners own (UAL)
Stuart Frankel & Co and its partners own (XRX)
Stuart Frankel & Co and its partners own (YHOO)
Stuart Frankel & Co and its partners are short (QQQQ)

For Patty Edwards
Trutina Financial owns (COST) for clients

Don Johnson
**No disclosures

Andy Busch
**No disclosures

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