Cost Plus World Market

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Cost Plus Inc.
Cost Plus World Market
IndustryRetail, Online shopping
Founded1958; 62 years ago (1958)
Fisherman's Wharf
San Francisco, California, U.S.
FounderWilliam Amthor
HeadquartersAlameda, California, U.S.
Number of locations
258 (2020)
Area served
United States
Key people
Jack Schwefel, CEO
ProductsFurniture, Curtains, Wine, Beer, Rugs, Bedding, Home Decor, Home accessories, Housewares, Gifts, Kitchenware, Tableware, Cookware and bakeware, Food
RevenueUS$963.83 million (2011)[1]
US$16.5 million (2011)
Number of employees
ParentBed Bath & Beyond
Inside a Cost Plus World Market in Kennesaw, Georgia

Cost Plus World Market is a chain of specialty/import retail stores, selling home furniture, decor, curtains, rugs, gifts, apparel, coffee, wine, craft beer, as well as several international food products. The brand's name originated from the initial concept, since abandoned, of selling items for "cost plus 10%". Its current headquarters are located in Alameda, California.[2] The company has been a subsidiary of Bed Bath & Beyond since being acquired in 2012.


Cost Plus opened its first store at 2552 Taylor Street on Fisherman's Wharf in San Francisco, California, in 1958. This location permanently closed in 2020. Founder William Amthor discovered that San Franciscans loved imported discount retail merchandise when he sold some extra rattan furniture. Amthor operated a small family-owned furniture store in San Francisco at the time, but instead of displaying the rattan furniture in his store, he rented 4,000 square feet (370 m2) of warehouse space in the Fisherman's Wharf area of San Francisco. The rattan furniture sold quickly, convincing Amthor to start importing merchandise as a new business. He opened his first store devoted exclusively to imported merchandise later in 1958 and began importing wicker by the shipload.[3]

The success in San Francisco led Amthor to quickly open other stores across the Bay Area and later in other states. There are 258 stores spread across 39 states and Washington, D. C.

In the 1990s, "Cost Plus" shifted the branding of its stores to either Cost Plus World Market or simply World Market in markets new to the brand (generally in the Eastern or Southern regions of the United States). In 1996, Cost Plus World Market went public and began trading on the NASDAQ stock exchange.

In February 2006, Cost Plus reported quarterly earnings of $125 million, with $367 million in revenue for the 4th fiscal quarter of 2006. Annual earnings were $280 million with over $800 million in revenue. Cost Plus was acquired by Bed Bath & Beyond in 2012.[4]

In 2014, Cost Plus World Market launched an online crowdsourcing-model marketplace called Craft by World Market.[5] The website posts items for one month at a time, and sells only products that have a certain number of pre-orders to ensure that enough customers will buy them.[6]

In October 2019, Bed Bath and Beyond announced pending closure of 60 stores; 40 of the shuttered stores will be Bed Bath and Beyond locations, while 20 will be World Market or other subsidiaries.[7]


  1. ^ a b "Cost Plus, Inc. Company Profile". Yahoo Finance. Archived from the original on July 26, 2013. Retrieved May 8, 2014.
  2. ^ "Cost Plus will move head offices, 400 workers, to Alameda from Oakland". The Mercury News. 2016-01-13. Retrieved 2018-01-13.
  3. ^ "History". Cost Plus. Retrieved May 8, 2014.
  4. ^ Hsu, Tiffany (May 9, 2012). "Bed Bath & Beyond to buy Cost Plus for $495 million". Los Angeles Times.
  5. ^ "Craft by World Market". Cost Plus World Market.
  6. ^ Somerville, Heather (February 20, 2014). "World Market to launch online boutique to sell handmade goods". San Jose Mercury News.
  7. ^ "Bed Bath and Beyond to close stores after holiday season". WAND TV. October 3, 2019.

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