Costco Is On Fire, Profit Up 31%

Costco has announced that their 2nd quarter profits are up 31%! That’s a lot!

Bloomberg provides some obvious theories as to why this might be:

By selling in bulk, Costco attracts shoppers seeking to buy more goods with fewer trips to counter higher food and fuel costs as the U.S. economy slows. Customers, who pay annual membership fees, also sought out cut-rate luxury items such as Burberry and Fendi handbags and Omega watches.

Costco is “focused on the member and the value that they are bringing to the member,” Lauri Brunner, an analyst at Thrivent Asset Management in Minneapolis, said in a March 3 telephone interview. The chain continues to “reap the benefits of trip consolidation by consumers.”

Are you shopping at Costco because you’re broke… or because Costco rocks your socks off?

Costco Profit Rises 31% as Shoppers Stock Up on Food (Update4) [Bloomberg]
(Photo:greenwenvy08)

Comments

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  1. xQuizx says:

    I like the chicken bakes…mhmmm chicken bakes.

  2. PatrickIs2Smart says:

    My socks get so rocked, I hafta buy them in bulk.

  3. NightSteel says:

    Both.

  4. lenagainster says:

    As a validated impulse buyer, I have to be extremely careful when I visit Costco and stick to my shopping list. No American Express credit card for me. I use a check or cash and limit what I purchase. But I’m amazed at the loaded carts going out the door of Costco.

  5. Elvisisdead says:

    Because Kirkland diapers are the same as Huggies Supreme at 1/2 the price. Kirkland detergent is Tide, as well. That’s why I shop there.

  6. char says:

    I don’t shop there too much (tiny Manhattan apt. for the win!) but will occasionally split something with the inlaws in the burbs.

    What I do like buying there

    - Blue Jeans/ other clothes ($25 for good quality jeans? F’yea)
    – Electronics (good prices, return policy)
    – Canned tuna, or other similarly el bland food. that will last for ever.
    – Frozen Shrimp, you can get the “Lazy cooks special” peeled and deviened individually frozen shrimp for a much better price than super markets.

  7. Underpants Gnome says:

    I shop at costco because its on my way home from work. That, and the sock off-rocking.

  8. char says:

    Edit:

    Also, the cheap, Delicious hot dogs, and the fact that the EMPLOYEES ARE COMPETANT are huge draws for me. Even if the lines are long, it’s because of density, not because of an idiot cashier.

  9. dorianh49 says:

    Lack of sales pressure (and a decent return policy) is mind-easing. But that’s usually erased when you can’t find an associate to direct you to where they moved your favorite product(s) THIS week.

  10. nweaver says:

    The return policy on electronics ROCKS! 90 days, no restocking fee.

    So you buy the cheap HDTV, plug it in, see if you like it, if so, cool, it was cheap. If not, you return it and buy a more expensive model.

  11. heyimbobo says:

    Oh my god they asked to check my receipt! AIGGGGGHHHHHH!!!! Juuuust kidding.

  12. joeboxxer says:

    I live 100 miles from the closest Costco and go there every 6 – 8 weeks. I bought a chest freezer there a few years ago so I can stock up on meat (they have the best steaks around), frozen fish, etc. My 3 dogs eat Kirkland Signature dog food (one 40 lb bag every 2 weeks) and our Costco has the best deal on Chilean wine (liter and half for $5.94). You just can’t beat the place – it rocks.

  13. beavis88 says:

    I <3 Costco, because their return policy rules, and their employees aren’t a bunch of dicks. The facts that I usually get good quality products, and usually save a bit of money, are just added bonuses.

  14. freshyill says:

    I love that store so much. I just bought an Xbox 360 bundle with Call of Duty 4, an extra controller, and the rechargeable battery pack for $439. That’s like getting the controller for free.

  15. ltlbbynthn says:

    We just joined Costco and are thrilled! They really have awesome stuff there, I had no idea how much non-food-items they carry. Except for the weird, weird, only Amex or debit card policy, god is that obnoxious

  16. billbillbillbill says:

    I enjoy saving 10-15 cents per gallon on gas (the costco is by my office so no extra gas is wasted getting there). We also like the basics- Bread, eggs, milk, frozen veggies. I find it refreshing to check out from Costco with bread, eggs, milk and the total is like $12. I always think they are not going to let me check out without a minimum $100.

    The simple answer is they are awesome

  17. lightaugust says:

    In the socks-a-rockin’ department, in shopping for my dream TV, I was asking Costco employees for help in navigating the system. And they were courteous, non upselling, and they knew what the hell they were talking about. Not that difficult to understand.

  18. scoobydoo says:

    Every aspect of shopping there rocks. It’s clean, it’s affordable, staff are great and the products are just swell.

    What I don’t like is that some products come and go too soon, never to return.

  19. DrGirlfriend says:

    If you know your prices, Costco can save you a lot of money. There are things there that I know are no cheaper than in stores, so I avoid those. But other items are definitely a bargain. The employees are competent and helpful.

  20. Ghede says:

    Because quality(x)/cost(x) > 1 when x = costco.
    Sorry. Just finished a math midterm.

  21. larsdad says:

    Costco rocks on prices and service, and they are a socially responsible company that also happens treats their employees with respect and dignity…unlike that other place–the one that rhymes with Ham’s Blub. Oh, and my sons love the pizza slices…

  22. moore850 says:

    Their profit is definitely from the cafeterias they have attached, bless the Costco cafeteria! mmm.

  23. world-inferno says:

    Frito: Yah I know this place pretty good, I went to law school here.
    Pvt. Joe Bowers: In Costco?
    Frito: Yah I couldn’t believe it myself, luckily my dad was an alumnus and pulled some strings.

  24. woodenturkey says:

    and gas is like 30 cents cheaper there. best $50 i ever spent

  25. woodenturkey says:

    @world-inferno:
    best movie no one saw

  26. Ciao_Bambina says:

    Stores are clean, well-stocked, good coupon sales every couple of months. Tip: if the price sign has an asterisk on it, the item is on clearance and won’t be carried anymore. Also, if you see something that you might want on an aisle endcap, better buy it – that’s the stuff that moves the fastest.

    I have a friend who has worked for Costco for about 10 years. He started at way above minimum wage, and has received excellent raises every year. He also gets great benefits, and is a very loyal and hard-working employee as a result.

    I’ve used Costco.com a few times for items that weren’t carried in the store, and have been very happy at how quickly my order was processed and shipped to me. I ordered something last weekend and had it yesterday (Tuesday).

  27. theirishscion says:

    +1 for socks rocked off. Never found a shop I like better.

  28. EBounding says:

    These obscene profits need to be given back to the people.

    But seriously, Costco is great. I got nice dress slacks for only 10 bux each. They would have cost at least $40 at Macy’s.

  29. camille_javal says:

    @scoobydoo: If you like something and it disappears, put a suggestion in the suggestion box (they all have one in my experience) – I know several people who have talked about doing that and items coming back – you may not be the only one requesting.

    Costco is the one and only thing I miss about the suburbs; I’m a little too lazy to take a shopping cart from Harlem to Bay Ridge or Queens.

  30. world-inferno says:

    @woodenturkey: Welcome to Costco, I love you.

  31. brandiniman says:

    It rocks my socks off… that is until I got pooped on by one of the birds living in their building. The bastards in the meat section didn’t even try to help. Thought two nice old sample ladies bent over backwards and even got me a brand new towel and led me back to a sink to do a quick hair wash.

  32. MentallyRetired says:

    @ltlbbynthn: Their weird debit and AmEx only deal helps them keep costs down. AmEx discounts their transaction charges in return for being AmEx exclusive which = lower prices.
    Also since you’re new you may not know that paying an extra $50/year over regular membership gets you Executive membership. This gets you a 2% rebate at the end of the year on all your purchases and if the 2% rebate is less than the $50 executive membership premium, they will refund the difference. Win-win.

  33. The Great Aussie Evil says:

    Costco is the only place they stock a certain brand of cheese.

  34. bohemian says:

    The closest Costco is 4 hours a way. If anyone from Costco actually reads this they are freaking fools if they don’t put on in the new east side mall development going in Sioux Falls. We have one Sams club in town that is terminally overcrowded all the time and Costco has way better selection. Costco over by Williams Sonoma and and the Super Target would rock.

  35. tripdog says:

    After too many years of too loud music and flying noisy airplanes, I needed hearing aids. Costco was not on my list of places to check but on a trip there I wandered in . Long story short, I got top of the line hearing aids with incredible service for less than 1/2 of what the “well known” stores charged. Not pushy about the sale and continue to be a great service experience. Never know what goodness can be had at Costco. Only problem is that the rest of the month seems so long after a Costco visit….till I get paid again.

  36. theirishscion says:

    @theirishscion: Actually, to add some more signal to that bit of noise, I recognize (and am recognized by) staff when I go there today that I first saw when I joined back in 2001. Employee retention is always a good sign. The return policy rocks (mostly because the product is of good quality, returns are rarely required. I think I’m averaging maybe one return a year over the last 7 years, and I spend over $4K there annually.

    The staff really seems engaged as well. I suspect it keeps coming back to that. I don’t feel like I’m being gamed or manipulated. The staff is happy and well paid. The product is of high quality and very reasonably priced. The environment is clean and well lit and pleasant. The tire department just totally rocks. Oh, and the cafe. Damn good value for money, and those chicken bake things. Most addictive.

  37. dreamsneverend says:

    I have to agree, as a Sam’s Club defector, once I got used to the subtle inventory differences I really like Costco a lot. Not a single complaint with the staff, the store or anything I’ve purchased there. PLUS I love their pre prepped food, monster caesar salads that keep me full at work allll day long.

  38. ideagirl says:

    Rock. Socks. Etc.

  39. catnapped says:

    @EBounding: Of course they do return some of those profits (in what they pay their employees).

    Sounds like a bunch of commie dirtbags if you ask me!

    (/sarcasm)

  40. deserthiker says:

    I Just wish the Costco near me carried rechargable batteries.

    I look for the stock to plummet just like aapl after their blow out quarter.

  41. Sir Winston Thriller says:

    We’ve shopped there ever since we lived in Washingotn and shopped at the store in Kirkland. We’re in Vermont now, and are lucky to be just about 1/2 hour away from the only Costco in the state (Colchester).
    @DrGirlfriend: is right about checking prices against supermarkets and such. DVDs and CDs can be had cheaper at WalMart and the web, for example.

  42. el_smurfo says:

    compare this thread to any mentioning sears or other retail… i think i need a cigarette after reading all the love.

  43. sock says:

    -Lots of organic produce available. -Costco actually pays their people a living wage. -Employee retention is good, and they actually know what they are doing.

    I wish they’d start stocking free-range eggs.

  44. REPTILE-DYSFUNCTION says:

    Plus, who doesn’t love a store that sells caskets & other funeral-related items?

    I loves me some Costco! Srsly.

  45. hwyengr says:

    @el_smurfo: Isn’t it funny how when a company has good customer service, customers like them more?

  46. statnut says:

    Love Costco. Those cupcakes indeed rock my socks off, and then manage to put them back on for me.

  47. csdiego says:

    I shop at Costco because they sell some pantry staples that I can’t get anywhere else for anything near the price, most importantly Wyman’s frozen wild blueberries (they’re the only blueberries worth eating, AFAIC, and I use a lot of them in smoothies and desserts), Pacific chicken stock, and Dole pineapple chunks.

    My only complaint is that Costco is about half an hour out of my way, so I only shop there every couple of months or so. If they were located more conveniently, I’d probably shop there even more.

  48. ezacharyk says:

    I really wish I had a Costco nearby. All I have is a Sam’s Club. Not too thrilled with them. My wife keeps bugging me to renew our membership.

    I hope Costco comes to Oklahoma soon.

  49. Greasy Thumb Guzik says:

    @Ciao_Bambina:
    Never heard of the asterisk policy!
    it’s always been that if the price ends in 7¢, it’s a clearance item.

  50. gglockner says:

    Costco has you covered from cradle to grave – bought my wife’s engagement diamond at Costco. Bought diapers at Costco. And my mother-in-law showed me that they sell caskets at costco.com. Crazy!

    Seriously, Costco rocks for gasoline, foodstuffs, luggage, clothing basics. The house-brand (“Kirkland Signature”) is generally high quality. I’m impressed that they are adding some organic foods. (Organic Kirkland Signature Peanut Butter!) They often have good luxury items like purses, wallets, watches. Not bad for consumer electronics. But I shop elsewhere for computers because of the lack of selection.

    And that’s the rub with Costco: they have top-notch items with good to great prices but little selection. If you’re picky about brands or models, you’re probably better off shopping elsewhere.

  51. Ihaveasmartpuppy says:

    I love Costco. But has anyone noticed they changed their rotisserie chickens? They are bigger now, but there is a lot more fat on them, plus ever since the change every chicken has come with broken wings or legs (actually more like shattered with bone fragments in the meat). I don’t think they changed the cooking time either because every one of these bigger chickens has been bloody by the breast bone and I need to recook them. They changed the packaging for them around the same time, it’s pretty nice, but the new chickens are ka-ka and I won’t buy them any more.

  52. azntg says:

    I don’t shop from Costco because it is relatively far for me. And I probably don’t shop enough to even justify the costs of basic membership.

  53. soulman901 says:

    Profits are up, human misery is up, ah, it’s a good time to be the CEO of Costco says the CEO of Costco smoking an expensive cigar.
    Boys, it’s time to cut back on the old fat to make sure our Christmas is just as good. Fire 5,000 Peons whose first name all begin with the letter J.

  54. zara_h says:

    Costco gas is 20 cents cheaper per gallon. So it’s worth waiting in those weird lines behind some old lady who can’t figure out that you swipe your card QUICKLY, not like it’s stuck in molasses. *sigh*

  55. davidc says:

    What’s *not* to like about costco? they could open a few more check out stands at times? and sometimes they stop carrying something you used to buy? That’s about it.

    But a Hot Dog, Drink and a Churo for $2.50 is one of the best lunch values around.

    Plus the return policy is fantastic … basically “no questions asked”. I rarely return stuff, but that’s peace of mind means I *never* have to worry about buying stuff at Costco cause they have the muscle to take care of their customers.

  56. biikman says:

    Costco, Syracuse NY needs you :)

  57. dorkins says:

    Where’s the nasty story about them always asking everybody for their receipt?

    Or does Costco get special treatment from Consumerist?

  58. kelmeister says:

    @REPTILE-DYSFUNCTION:

    [loading casket onto cart]
    Grumpy Lady: It’s for my husband.
    Zack: Oh, I’m sorry to hear about that.
    Grumpy Lady: Oh, he’s not dead. Not yet. It’s just too good a deal to pass up.
    Zack: Well, do you need some help getting it to your car?
    Grumpy Lady: No, thank you. The lazy prick’s waiting for me. I’m gonna make him load it.
    Zack: Well, good luck murdering your husband.

  59. selectman says:

    Anyone who’s ever been to Maui knows that the island Costco single handedly makes your vacation much more affordable. Even in the middle of the Pacific, their prices and quality are as good as you’d expect.

  60. jimconsumer says:

    @dorkins: Or does Costco get special treatment from Consumerist? – We don’t mind showing our receipts at Costco because it’s a private member store and the showing of said receipts is part of the membership contract. Thus, we agreed to it in advance and it’s not a problem. Unlike, say, a public store where there is no contract and they have no right to harass us over items that are paid for and no longer belong to them.

  61. fredmertz says:

    They werent really up 31% — last year’s numbers had some “1-time” non-operating charges, which make those numbers look too low. Earnings were 74c vs and adjusted earnings of 67c last year, a 10% increase.

  62. bohemian says:

    Stores with good products, good polices and decent staff make money. Stores with lousy products, lousy policies and lousy staff don’t.

    Why can’t the powers that be figure this out?

  63. dorianh49 says:

    @Ihaveasmartpuppy: Plus, they now inject them with “hydrolized protein”, which is a fancy way of hiding MSG. The FDA will even let food makers slap a NO MSG label on foods that have shloads of MSG as long as they’re labeled as “hydrolized protein” or something similar.

  64. Sidecutter says:

    @The Great Aussie Evil: Tillamook! Delish!

    @Ihaveasmartpuppy: Have you maybe thought of discussing the issue with the folks who cook them? They’d probably, I dunno, fix it…

    @dorkins: If you consider “by joining CostCo, you signed a contract agreeing that they have the right to check your receipt, so you can’t complain about it because you yourself made it legal for them to do so”, special treatment, then yes.

  65. algormortis says:

    why i shop at costco:

    1)it’s near work!
    2)my waitress job pays for my annual membership!
    3)Superior customer service
    4)PRICE
    5)Best Polish sausage in town for $1.50. The drink being included is just gravy.
    6)Mexican coke, made with REAL SUGAR, by the case for half of what it costs to buy it elsewhere.
    7)Broad, tasty, inexpensive wine selection.
    8)$14 for enough toilet paper to last a single girl 6 months!
    9)They treat their employees so well it annoys Wall Street. That’s kind of awesome.
    10)Less expensive gas, and they take my corporate card with no whining. Or my personal AMEX.
    11)Completely unflattering member card photo=massive lulz.
    and the best reason of all:
    12)Fruit leather by the case!

  66. Phipps6505 says:

    @el_smurfo: Sears take note – people will actually pay to shop at a place that treats them right (among other things).

  67. theblackdog says:

    I wrote a very nice E-mail to Costco recently after walking into one on a rainy day. The door greeter was there with paper towels so that I could wipe off the handle of my cart since it was wet from being outside. That was already great customer service, but then within an hour I had a response from corporate and the store manager thanking me for the letter, which just made it even better.

    I will so continue to shop there :-D

  68. theblackdog says:

    My Reasons for Costco Love

    1. A single person can buy stuff for themselves and use it all up without waste.
    2. $4/doz. freshly baked bagels
    3. $0.20-0.30 cheaper gasoline
    4. High-quality generic brands
    5. Good prices on electronics (320 GB External HD $100)
    6. Friendly staff
    7. Awesome take-and-bake meals

  69. Howie411 says:

    I used Costco’s discount to rent a car the other day with Avis. 2 day rental cost me $40 and this was from a local Avis not even a airport. Can’t beat that price, normally it would have been almost doubled.

  70. SeraSera says:

    As a financially challenged college student, there’s nothing better than buying eight pounds of chicken and ten pounds of pancake mix at rock-bottom Costco prices. If only it wasn’t a metro-and-a-bus ride away, I’d do all my daily grocery shopping there, too.

    (As it is, my day-to-day business goes to Trader Joes. :P)

  71. JeffM says:

    I’ll second (or third) the mess of Costcorgasms on this thread.

    The best part of the shopping experience is that shopping is completely risk free. When you buy something at Costco you know you will be pleased with it- because 99% of the time it is a great product and the other 1% because you know they have a simple and effective return policy.

  72. Arkley says:

    I actually work at a Costco Warehouse (In Canada).

    Behind hind scenes, it’s hell, but the minute the doors go up, the member is the first thing on our mind. We’ve been trained for that.

    Although, I only work mornings (5am to 10am) and rarely stay after opening, most of our members are actually a pleasure to deal with and don’t mind talking to you or making jokes with you.

    If I do happen to inform a member that whatever item they were looking for is no longer in stock, they don’t blow up in a hissy fit either. Besides, most of Costco’s stock is rotated annually according to the season. And that goes for Food, Clothing and some electronics.

    They company is great to work for, no doubt about it, as in the two years I’ve worked there (part-time) I’ve already have had $5 in total for raises plus I get part-time benefits which cover up to 50% of expenses. In addition, we usually have enough staff to cover for everyone that requesting time off/vacation time is as simple as handing in your request two weeks before you want it due(as to allow for scheduling). It almost makes me a little bit sad to leave it this coming April.

  73. mcjake says:

    “Are you shopping at Costco because you’re broke… or because Costco rocks your socks off?” Both man. I would totally marry costco if I could. And I can’t wait till the day where I can order my law degree from them.

    Idiocracy anyone?

  74. MissTic says:

    Socks rocked here. They don’t stock some things we like but it’s a small price to pay for what we get.

  75. Elijah-M says:

    @soulman901: Actually, all of Costco’s executive leadership take salaries that are relatively modest when compared to their industry brethren. Providing every single employee with excellent pay and benefits – in lieu of the obscene executive pay that is the norm among their competitors, apparently – is one of the foundations of their business model. It is also the reason they are able to provide such excellent customer service.

  76. SeaKaySea says:

    Costco DOES rock. I gave up my BJ’s and Sam’s membership and only go with Costco now. The other’s don’t even compare. Great Service, huge selection, 90 day warranty on everything.

  77. MBZ321 says:

    Blah I wish I had a Costco closer…I’m stuck with a BJ’S membership (they made me a special deal since I didn’t renew right away when my previous year expired) which is only useful for their gas station and Deli. Nothing else really there is priced better than anywhere else.

  78. SeaKaySea says:

    Forgot to mention…yes they do check my receipt and yes, it bugs me a little bit, but I think I agreed to it to become a member so I can’t complain. I can complain at Home Depot because there is no agreement to give up personal rights when shopping there. IMHO.

  79. btlewand says:

    Would be interesting to know how much profit is generated from their Amex rebate program. Amex sends you your Costco rebate ‘coupon’ in February which for me happens to be the same month I am charged for my annual $50 membership. While the membership is charged directly to my Amex card, the coupon is mailed to me and I have to remember to take it with me the next time I visit CostCo. Because of the paper coupon process, I’m sure there are many Costco customers who never redeem their coupons saving Costco hundreds of thousands of dollars.

    Curious about how ‘paperless’ Amex statement customers get their rebates, the Amex customer service rep advised me that Costco has Amex send out separate paper statements in February to those members who are paperless. So I guess the cost savings of some members not redeeming their paper coupons must exceed the cost of sending out separate paper statements to provide all members with a paper coupon.

    Costco’s Amex rebate process is inefficient, not eco-friendly and not customer-centric for a company which charges you a fee to shop at their store. While prices on most items are really good, their apparently profitable Amex rebate program process leaves a lot to be desired.

  80. Parting says:

    Save money. Plus they have a lot of brands normal groceries and WalMart does not have.

  81. binutils says:

    We moved from Anacortes, WA (near a Costco) to Syracuse, NY a few years back and I really miss Costco.
    One thing I haven’t seen mentioned that my wife LOVED was their fresh cut flowers on the cheap!
    We’d go at least once a week after work and she’d get flowers for home and her desk @ the office.

  82. CrapoCrap says:

    yes on the fresh cut flowers.
    Here’s my favorite story.
    Bought a ginat blow-up water slide thingy from costco. Kids loved it even though the seams started to rip. I was able to return it with NO BOX, NO RECIEPT, OVER six months later (I’m a single mom, it’s heavy, I needed help) for a full refund. Cash. No questions asked.

    I lurve me some costco.

  83. cooljw says:

    Their food is very high quality and reasonably priced so I don’t mind that I have to buy a months worth of something.

  84. drharris says:

    I love CostCo. I bought a membership a month ago after I’d saved up for a Canon XTi, and they had a nice bundle available for $200 below the cheapest Amazon price. I get my gas there, my water filters, some food and clothes. You have to be careful though, because you don’t always save money on goods, especially when you factor in cost of storage/clutter. However, I’ve easily earned back the $50 fee several times in the gas prices alone. Return policies are generous, and the food samples are awesome for a free weekend lunch. :) I don’t mind that they check receipts there; after all, it’s unbagged goods and expensive per-item, so they have to make sure.

  85. mikelotus says:

    @Elijah-M: Relatively modest? try cut rate! The CEO refuses to make 7 figures, its in the $ 900K range. Yes he gets stock, but that is a good thing in this case. And he treats his employees well. Look at Costco’s hours!

  86. whitedevil01 says:

    Costco rocks. Buying in bulk rocks (more).

  87. cheesebubble says:

    I’m surprised by the Costco love-in that’s taking shape in these comments. I don’t necessarily have a beef with the store but I can’t stand the slow-moving, giant-shopping-cart-pushing families that plug up the aisles. Do you really need to give a slack-jaw gawk to every mega-sized product in the store?! There. That should give this comment thread some swing in the other direction.

  88. Nissan288 says:

    I’m proud to say I was a costco employee and that they helped me pay my way through college.

  89. lhm says:

    I’ve only had one experience w/Costco, and it was great. I bought something, didn’t like it. They said bring it back. I did. No hassle removing the charge and they were nice about it.

  90. beavis88 says:

    @cheesebubble: Go right when the store opens. The slack-jawed gawkers tend to straggle in later, in my experience.

  91. theblackdog says:

    @cheesebubble: You blamed the consumers, bravo my friend!

  92. woodenturkey says:

    @cheesebubble:

    nope you fail

  93. woodenturkey says:

    I also dont mind showing my receipt at Costco, i joined knowing that was part of the deal.

  94. woodenturkey says:

    god i sound like im on the pay roll, but

    they have a great selection of organic food and their fruit tast like fruit and not wax

  95. sock says:

    organic food.

    more reasonable CEO pay.

    treat employees like human beings.

    clean stores.

    only downside: it’s crowded

  96. jonworld says:

    I love costco…but they almost built one a few blocks away from my house in the middle of nowhere but costco refused to pay for extra streetlights that their new store would require and our town refused to pay either so they didn’t build one ): too bad

  97. MPHinPgh says:

    I’m guessing someone else might have already said this (I was too lazy to read all of the posts), but I shop there because I buy in bulk, and it’s NOT Sam’s Club.

  98. Franklin Comes Alive! says:

    @freshyill:

    I got a 360 last August that included Xbox Live Arcade Unplugged, a second controller, and a play and charge kit. Grand total… $339! It was an old bundle being clearanced out.

  99. HamCannon says:

    I bought a pair of tires there about six months ago. A few weeks later, a letter comes in the mail from Costco informing me that the price of the tires has been reduced by $10 and enclosing a $20 gift card to cover the difference.

    Now that’s service.

  100. mon0zuki says:

    Reasons I love Costco:

    1) Ability to stock up on the stuff I know damn well I’ll use up (toilet paper, laundry detergent, occasional fruit).
    2) Their – so far as I’ve heard – moral practices.
    3) Their hot dogs. Ohmanthey’regood.
    4) The fact that all my super-comfy lounge pants have come from there (without putting a hole in my wallet).
    5) The super-fresh La Brea Bakery bread the Costcos in my area have.

  101. krunk4ever says:

    What about I’m broke because I shop at Costco. Leaving Costco w/o spending over $100 is quite a difficult task.

    But I still love them! :)

  102. Islandkiwi says:

    Things I regularly buy at Costco:
    1) Diapers
    2) Milk (why is their milk so good, and why does it last so long?)
    3) Mangos!
    4) Chicken breasts, steaks, hamburger meat…my brother loves their hamburger patties with blue cheese.
    5) Multi-grain bread
    6) Gas. Cheaper than anywhere.

    Yup, love me some Costco.

  103. calvinneal says:

    The problem with showing receipts at Costco is the staff just x with a marker and count nothing.As for the negative comments about their CEO, do a little research. He only makes a pittance compared to most executives, pays the staff well and offer good benefits. Sam’s Club employs the unemployable and treats them like crap.

  104. Phineas Poe says:

    @calvinneal: I was gonna say…Costco’s EO makes something like $200,000 a year…what a great corporation…good for consumers, good for employees…and they are making money. Corporate America could learn a few things from Costco.

  105. jeremybwilson says:

    Minus their crappy in-store video game and game console selection, I’m shopping their because they rock my socks off. Why send in your poorly designed/cheaply manufactured Xbox 360 when you can return to Costco for a full refund. I did exactly this when I got the RRoD. Where else can you do this…?

  106. jeremybwilson says:

    @calvinneal

    Your comments are so dead on. I see this almost daily (every time I’m in a Costco store around the Puget Sound/Seattle area) where I see the same employee faces year in and year out. Their turnover has got to be so incredibly low because I’ve literally watched some of their employees age before my eyes over the past twenty years or so.

  107. giden says:

    I was once told by a Costco employee that they (Costco) can keep prices down (on some products) because of the high volume of anual memberships. Further, he stated, that when they (Costco) find that individual items are priced higher than other retail outlets, they LOWER the price. I saw this for real, with the price of hearing aid batteries. Costco lowered the price when it was determined that the cost they previously charged was higher than needed due to annual membership charges.

  108. spamtasticus says:

    here is my take on Costco. I’m convinced they dont make money on retail sales. Their prices, even with the deals they make with suppliers, are just too low. I’m convinced they are in the business of selling lists to marketers. Think about it. What is the absolutely most valuable list a marketer can buy than: These people all bought this %100 for sure and they live HERE! I shop at costco… but they dont have my address or any other information for that matter. When I signed up for the “membership card” and handed in the app, the guy asked for my Drivers Liscense. I told him I don’t drive. The then asked if I had a passport. I told him I did not plan on flying to afganistan from within the store and why was he asking me for ID? He then told me the pitfalls of not verifying your info. I would have to pay with cash or atm but not checks. Well…. what a pitty. I told him no worries. Who the hell pays with a check anyway. So he, with visible disaproval, gave me my card.

  109. Arkley says:

    Costco isn’t perfect.

    You should see some of the things we throw out.

    If you return a BBQ that you used once or twice, we throw it into the compactor. For the past three days, I’ve thrown safes into the compactor. Bed Headboards, endless amounts of flour, sugar, soup, fruit and veggies. A couple bookshelves, the list goes on and on.

  110. overbysara says:

    I don’t shop at costco because I live in a studio apartment in DC… HOWEVER, if I could, I would. They’re good to their employees and don’t pay their CEO nine bazillion dollars to sit in a chair.

    [www.laborresearch.org]

  111. IssaGoodDay says:

    @Arkley:
    AHHH!!!! Is there any way for the Average Joe to sneak in and snag said BBQ before it’s tossed?

    I live in a house of 6 college guys. We have a total of 4 Costco memberships between us, and spend close to $400/mo there. Costco is more fun to visit/wander around in than an Apple store – and for me, that’s saying something!

  112. IssaGoodDay says:

    @binutils:

    An oh yeah, TWO DOZEN roses for $15. That’s gotten me out of a few potentially fatal situations with the missus ^.^

  113. Joe Hass says:

    The Chicago Tribune had an article on the magnificentness that is the $1.50 Hot Dog/Soda combo: [www.chicagotribune.com],0,3871603.story

    And the best part is the new scanning guns, which helps make the lines move a whole lot faster.

  114. zolielo says:

    Yup Costco is the model firm.

  115. aaronk says:

    Costco rules! What’s not to like? It’s obvious from these posts why they are doing well. They take care of their customers and offer both lower price AND higher value (better return policy, added services like car sales, etc.). LONG LIVE COSTCO!

  116. 995ov says:

    @scoobydoo: Cause those are one-of-a-kind items so if you don’t buy it immediately, it’s gone.Eventhough they not perfect it’s still way better than most stores.

  117. Arkley says:

    @sourc3: I wish, otherwise I’d have one myself. Very rarely do the returned items get sold to employees or re-sold (that is, larger items). In fact, I think it’s only happened twice. Once with a Wii that was returned and was to be sold again. And once with a mattress that was returned and the manufacturer told us to throw it out, but our manager sold it to an employee at a discounted price.

  118. Cwhite42 says:

    I registered just to add my comments about Costco. We love the place, having shopped regularly when we lived in California and Missouri. The customer service and return policy is great. I have taken something back that broke a year later (an expensive vacuum cleaner) and they gave me a refund with no hassle.
    Even better is their employee policy. I see so many retail places that pay their staff a pittance, and then wonder why customer service is so bad. Also, Costco (according to a NY Times article) has a great health plan available to their employees. That means that unlike other companies, I as a taxpayer am not subsidizing their health costs.
    Now that we live two hours from the nearest Costco we joined the local Sams Club (reluctantly). What a difference. Long lines, rude cashiers, somewhat dirty store, no rebates on purchases, and a general feeling from the employees that they really do not want to be there.
    A final tip – We went to Hawaii several times and bought all our souvenir nuts and other items at the Honolulu Costco for about half the price of the tourist shops. Check them out when you go.

  119. Elijah-M says:

    @mikelotus: True dat.

  120. gtabacchi says:

    Costco is certainly awesome, I’ve never had a bad experience there and nothing beats a $1.50 for lunch. My biggest issue is that I may be moving from a place where my Costco fix is only 10 min away to a place where it’s 3 hours. That’s gonna be tough to take.

  121. jamar0303 says:

    @Arkley: If the safes Costco sells can be compacted by a trash compactor… I think I’ll look elsewhere for safes.

  122. YellowDucati says:

    “Welcome to Costco. I love you”
    -Idiocracy Movie

  123. SenorBob says:

    God I miss Costco.

    I moved to London about a year ago, and as luck would have it they have stores in the UK (although in really inconvenient places – think 2 hours on a bus and a 1 mile hike). After a few months I started feeling homesick, so I went to Costco! Apparently, the Executive memberships will work at any store in the world, which is what I had.

    I know this sounds stupid, but being in that store made me feel a million times better. It looked and felt like a real US Costco. I got a Cuisinart coffee grinder for £50 (at least £90 everywhere else) and REAL CHOCOLATE CHIPS!

    Of course I’m in Finland now, and they don’t have them here. I think I’m going to go cry now….

    *sniff sniff

  124. CrapoCrap says:

    On another positive note, I went there after work to look for tiles (I had planned on getting them at Home Depot since I had a 10% off coupon), but reading this reminded me that I hadn’t looked at Costco yet.
    Got exactly the marble tiles that I wanted, paid way less than the Home Depot prices. Yeah for good publicity and word of mouth as free adversiting! This one consumerist post alone earned Costco about $400.

  125. wickedpixel says:

    Love Costco. I’m totally gonna buy my casket there when I die. ;-P

  126. algormortis says:

    @jeremybwilson: The gent at the Business Centre one in Fife who works door most days remembers me by name. (My field office is in Federal Way, so it’s nice and convenient, though my real office, which i never see, is in Factoooooooooooria. It’s nice, it has an Aeron chair, even! I think i saw it in early February…that’ll teach people not to leave crap on my desk.)

    I realized i’ve been a field tech for the T that is Mobile for a year and a half. The Fife store literally has one new face in that time, and hasn’t lost any. That’s scary good. I think my peer group at work has entirely refreshed at least once in that time.

    But damn, that hot dog/soda hookup remains epic. With good relish and mustard, too!

  127. sicknick says:

    Funny, since in the last month I’ve decided not to renew my membership. I used to be an avid shopper of the CostCo, but then I moved. I now live near one of (if not THE) busiest centers in the midwest, the Madison Heights, MI store. I always justified the cost of my membership with gas purchases (always 10-20 cents cheaper a gallon then anywhere around) and razor blades.

    Then the gas crunch happened, and now I actually find cheaper gas at an independent station on 8 mile, about a mile south of my house. It’s always 5-10 cents cheaper then the CostCo gas. Also, the cost of razor blades has climbed over the past two years, even though they’re the same blades as before and newer blades have come out that are even more expensive.

    The final straw, though, since rising costs happen everywhere, was the fact that for the past six months, I cannot go into the store without a 20 minute wait. Doesn’t matter the time of day, or day of the week, they always have too few cashiers, and at least half the lanes empty. If this is the busiest store in the midwest, as I’ve been told by multiple employees when I ask when the best time to shop is, why don’t they put two or three more checkers on the clock to keep lines at 3 or 4 people deep instead of 7 or 8?

    I’ve sent letters, and used the in store complaint box, and received not so much as a reply. I’m done. The couple things I can save cash on (and since I switched to a safety razor last month, I’m not even buying the blades anymore) can be picked up by borrowing a friend’s account. If my member opinions aren’t valued, I’ll just buy smaller quantities and watch for sales.

  128. Randomeis says:

    If you have yet to take a look at their organic milk 3 packs, the expiration dates that will astound you.

  129. NiGHTSSTUDiO says:

    I shop there because the samples fill me up.

    Oh, and their games are cheap

  130. tcolberg says:

    Costco is definitely my favorite brick and mortar store. Those crafty bastards know how to make me open my wallet.

  131. synergy says:

    Although I hear Costco treats their employees great etc etc I’ve never thought that buying enough stuff to fill a warehouse so you can supposedly save was a good idea. I’d say people just need to buy less stuff. *shrug* That’s just me.

  132. rikkus256 says:

    I shop at Costco because they have the best return policy among retails. (Please don’t abuse it).

  133. mikelotus says:

    @synergy: good idea, i will only wipe my ass every other day and save on butt wipe.