Costco buys logistics firm Innovel for $1 billion

People form a long queue as they wait for the Costco wholesalers to open in Manchester, Britain March 15, 2020. REUTERS/Phil Noble

(Reuters) - Costco Wholesale Corp COST.O said on Tuesday it had acquired Innovel Solutions for $1 billion, as the membership-only retailer beefs up its final-mile delivery of bulky products across the United States and Puerto Rico.

The purchase, first reported by Reuters, is part of Costco’s efforts to focus on growing its online sales of products such as appliances, furniture, mattresses, televisions and fitness equipment.

Innovel, which has serviced Costco since 2015, was previously owned by Sears-operator Transform Holdco LLC and will continue to serve Sears and its existing third-party customers.

Shares of the Issaquah, Washington-based retailer rose 3.5% in morning trade.

Reporting by Praveen Paramasivam in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila