14 Intriguing Facts about Costco

Fascinating Facts About Costco

Costco is one of the largest chain stores in America, offering discounted yet high-quality goods at reasonable prices. It is one of America’s most popular retail stores due to its fantastic customer service. You can find the best deals and discounts on all kinds of toiletries, lifestyle and even food products. Costco is a one-stop-shop in its true meaning for all your household items as you can find anything and everything within its aisles. Nevertheless, there are some insider secrets and fascinating facts about Costco that you might want to learn before your next shopping trip.

Here are some of the most amazing Costco facts you may not have heard before

1. The mentor of the founder of Costco was called Mr Price

Sol Price was the pioneer in warehouse club retail and opened the first price club in San Diego in 1976. Whereas the partners Jeffrey H. Brotman and James D. Sinegal had Costco’s first opening in Seattle in 1983. Both of these companies, Costco and the Price Company, had a merger in 1993 and became known as Price/Costco. But in 1997, the company’s name was changed to Costco Companies, Inc., and the current corporate name for the company was adopted in 1999.

In the first decade of the 21st century, Costco was praised for its excellent employee satisfaction rates in the retail world and its expansive businesses across Europe, Mexico, Canada, Australia, the USA, and more areas of the world.

2. It is the second-largest retailer in all of America

Costco is a widely popular store in America due to its amazing membership benefits. The company is only second to the giant conglomerate of Walmart. Almost 79 million customers visit the American stores of Costo. The substantial membership fees charged annually are a steal for the prices the store offers. The membership fee ranges from $55 (basic) to a sizable $110.

Costco store

3. You don’t require membership to shop at Costco

Large retail stores such as Costco and Sam’s Club can provide extra discounts and deals to their customers due to huge purchase orders and large profits supported by membership fees. Without a membership card, you cannot buy gallons of condiments or avail massive discounts on Costco products. Nevertheless, there is a secret way you can buy your favourite things at Costco: you have to know a person with a Costco membership. A person with a Costco membership can help you purchase a Costco Cash Card (gift card), which you can use at all Costco stores. The store’s policy does not restrict non-members from using this payment method.

4. There are hidden signs on the price tag

If you are a fan of Costco products and are looking for discount secrets, we have some to share with you. If the item you are considering purchasing has a price that ends at $0.97, that means that the product is on clearance. Another tip is that if you see an asterisk on the top right corner of a shelf, you should stock up the item as soon as possible since it won’t be coming back to the store again.

5. Costco is highly popular for its rotisserie chicken

There is a dedicated fan page for Costco’s rotisserie chicken. It is one of its most popular items in Costco. The company has been estimated to sell around 157,000 rotisserie chickens every day. Costco has made a point to stick to the fixed price of $4.99 per rotisserie chicken as their customers love it because of its economical cost. Costco loses about $30-$40 million each year due to the low price, making their customers very happy.

6. Costco is the second-largest car dealer in America

Although it may not seem ideal for a retail store to delve into the car business, Costco is one of the largest car dealers in America. Costco sold more than 520,000 cars in 2017 via its no-haggle auto buying program. This program has attracted car dealerships from all over the USA and even Puerto Rico to make the total number of dealerships as partners around 3000.

7. Costco does not sell tobacco products

Costco may have everything on its shelves, from beds to clothes to frozen pizzas, but one thing Costco does not sell is tobacco. Costco has recently stopped selling tobacco products. Unlike what you might be thinking, this decision from the company was not for health-related reasons but was a business decision. Tobacco products are not stocked in Costco since they are labor-intensive, have low profits and higher theft rates.

8. Costco takes care of its customers

Costco introduced different store hours for the disabled and the elderly during the coronavirus pandemic and isolation period. Costco readjusted their timings to comply with the sanitary restrictions to safeguard their shoppers. The panic buying that occurred at the beginning of the pandemic pushed Costco to open special hours for the elderly and disabled so that they could buy their needed products first. Only persons with disabilities and senior citizens were allowed after the first hour of opening.

man at Costco

9. There are three types of Costco memberships

There are about three types of Costco memberships. These memberships are of different tiers but can be availed at Costcos worldwide. The first type of membership is the Executive Membership, valid to be availed for a year. The second membership is the Business Membership, and the last type is the Gold Star Membership. These memberships differ in how many benefits they allow to a customer.

10. Costco is one of the country’s biggest pizzerias

It might not occur to you to call Costco for a pizza on pizza nights. Costco’s pizza is widely popular all across America. Costco stores’ large size is enough to be ranked as one of the top 20 American pizza chains. Each pizza slice from Costco is definitely a steal priced under $5.

11. Costco offers an emergency package that would last 25 years

In case of an apocalyptic event or any large scale disaster in your area, Costco has got your back covered. For a reasonable $4000, you can buy an ‘Emergency Cube’ that has 30,000 servings of food that can last you for a full 25 years. Costco also provides prepared kits and emergency supplies for multiple scenarios with first aid kits, backpacks, radios, water, and non-perishable food items.

12. Costco sells a lot of cashews

Cashews are a highly popular item at Costco stores all over the country. Costco sells about $300,000 worth of cashews every week. The Costco stores had to change their product packaging for cashews from round to square to keep up with the demand and stock more products. Costco also reduced its carbon footprint substantially as it made the switch from round packages to much more easily shippable square containers.

13. The frozen food aisle at Costco has an extraordinary story

There was a fortunate meeting between an adorable couple in the aisles of Costco that resulted in them getting married in the same Costco section. This is a love story of the bride Meredith Bonilla walking down the frozen food section aisle to meet her husband Robert Bonilla with Costco’s special permission.

14. Costco has millions of members

Even though you might think that the cost of a Costco membership may put off some customers, a fact sheet from Costco says otherwise. According to the data collected in 2019, over a hundred million people have a Costco membership card. Almost 100 million people are willing to pay an annual fee to make significant savings on their purchases from Costco.

Customers in Costco

How Costco Became a Massive ‘Members Only’ Retailer

Costco makes billions doing what in retail might once have been thought unthinkable: charge people to shop there. The company draws most of its income from membership fees and has a nearly 90 per cent membership renewal rate. It charges very low prices on goods, rotates its inventory, and pays employees better than the retail average. But how long can it last?

Summary

Costco is a large retailer of wholesale and discounted goods with a huge customer base all over America. Their memberships may seem expensive to some but can reap a lot of benefits to regular shoppers. Costco offers products ranging from bedsheet covers, clothing, rotisserie chickens, pizzas, to even funeral necessities. This wide variety draws customers from all over America to choose Costco for all bulk orders.

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Image credit: Unsplash

Image Credit: “Costco” by JeepersMedia is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Image Credit: “Costco on a Saturday” by miamism is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Image Credit: “Shopping Cart Outside Costco” by Chris Hunkeler is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

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