Costco sells half the world’s cashews
In 2022, Costco card holders bought around $300,000 worth of whole cashews every single week! The corporate giant works with around 2.5 million independent cashew farmers across Africa, ensuring that they’re ethically sourced. They also no longer sell them in plastic containers, doing their part to save the planet.
Their signature rotisserie chickens wasn’t an original idea
Though many people think that Costco and rotisserie chickens go hand in hand, the freshly-roasted birds were inspired by a Canadian invention in 1995. At a competing supermarket, roasting chickens were placed in a front-facing window, encouraging customers inside. This resulted in 6,000 ovens being sold in a week – and Costco snapping up the idea.
One of their biggest sellers may surprise you
One of the most popular products sold at Costco is toiler paper. In fact, the chain sells more than one billion rolls each year, bringing in around $400 million for the retailer. Notably, they shove the product at the back of the store, hoping that customers will be tempted by other products along the way.
The rotisserie chickens have a very short shelf life
Costco only allow their chickens to be left on display for a meager two hours. Once they’re taken out of the oven, they’re placed in a container and time stamped. Once that time is up, they’re taken off the shelf, with the meat being used in a variety of different products. This way, their chickens stay nice and juicy.
Their aisles aren’t labeled for a reason
Costco are savvy when it comes to selling tactics. They purposely don’t label aisles to encourage customers to search the store, hoping that they’ll pick up more goods than they came in for. Granted, it’s easier to navigate than other supermarkets, offering 4,000 products compared to Walmart’s huge 120,000.
You’re in for a surprise if you buy a Costco chicken in Asia
The mega chain of Costco have stores all over the world. While they’re mainly the same, some items can wildly differ. Like the chickens, for example, which come with their heads still attached. A shocking sight for an American, but a normal part of Asian culture.
Their hot dogs make a loss
There’s a reason why Costco’s rotisserie chickens and hot dogs are so cheap. In fact, both products produce a loss for the company. The tactic works, with customers coming in for the meat and staying for the flat-screen TVs. Naturally, these are put at the back of the store, forcing customers to walk past more expensive goods before they can get their hands on their lunch.
Costco introduced a new fruit to America
If you enjoy biting into a tasty, seedless watermelon, you’ve got Costco to thank. The retail giant was the first of its kind to introduce the fruit to American soil, stopping you from getting countless seeds stuck between your teeth. The fruits are also pretty gigantic, making them a popular choice amongst consumers.
Costco have a lot of stores around the globe
In total, there’s a huge 833 Costcos. There’s 574 locations in the United States and Puerto Rico, 107 in Canada, 40 in Mexico, 29 in the United Kingdom, and 31 in Japan. There’s even a store in Iceland, with one in eight Icelanders signing up for a membership before the store even opened.
Costco sell a mind-boggling amount of hot dogs
In 2022, the retailer sold a whopping 157 million soda and hot dog combos – more than any sold at Major League Baseball events. In fact, they sold seven times more than any Major League Baseball venue combined! Costco produce their own hot dogs, helping them to keep up with the huge demand.
Their food courts differ depending on where you are
In America, we’re used to ordering hot dogs, soda, and pizza from Costco’s food court. Other countries, however, offer a variety of different dishes. In Australia, you can order clam chowder in a bread bowl. Japan offers a falafel salad, while in the UK you can grab a jacket potato with a slew of different toppings.
France has strict drinks rules
One of the benefits of shopping at Costco is their unlimited drink refills – allowing you to refill your cup as many times as you like while you’re shopping. In France, however, it’s a different story. The drinks are limited to one per person, due to regulations in the country regarding sugary beverages.
Costco ships a lot of eggs
In 2016 alone, Costco sold over four billion eggs worldwide. The company is committed to going entirely cage-free for their hens, having achieved 97% of that goal in the United States. The eggs on offer vary from country to country, with duck eggs being sold in France, and light blue chicken eggs available to buy in the UK.
Japan’s bakeries are a mouthwatering affair
Most Japanese Costco bakeries are much larger than their US counterparts, coming in around 2.5 times the size! They offer an array of baked goods you can’t get your hands on in the States, including hotel bread, intricately-decorated pumpkin pies, and chocolate croissants. Time to book a flight to Japan!
They ship a huge amount of pumpkin pie
It appears that this treat remains a food staple of Halloween, as the corporate giant ships around six million pies between September and December each year. That requires 12 million pounds of canned pumpkin and 24 million eggs! Thankfully, Costco doesn’t waste anything, even donating the pumpkin seeds to be used as bird food.
They donate a lot of food
Alongside offering customers some brilliant bargains, the retailer also donates a lot to local charities. In 2018, Costco donated 37 million meals to Feeding America, doing their part to aid those in need. They’re also prominent in disaster relief, offering water, food, and supplies to those who need it most.
Japan’s seafood section is a sight to see
Forget the usual fishy finds at Costco – Japan’s where the good stuff’s at. They have cooked octopus, three kinds of mackerel, short-necked clams, fresh salmon roe and lots, and lots more, making it a dream come true for any seafood fan. Better yet, all of their goods are reasonably priced!
Each new warehouse results in a big party
Every single time the company opens a brand new warehouse, they throw a VIP party. Guests include employees, press, vendors, and other notable figures. Bakers create a huge cake, complete with the store’s number on the frosting, while free hot dogs and soda are on offer for all attendees.
Millions of people have a Costco card
In fact, there are almost 117 million Costco cardholders. Most of these have the basic Gold Card, paying $60 each year. However, there are many people who opt for the Executive membership, paying $120 per year to get a 2% reward on certain purchases (limited to $1,000 per annum).
Staff are relatively happy
There are more than 298,000 Costco employees around the world, including around 195,000 US workers. Looking at the stats, it’s clear that most employees are relatively happy at the company, reporting a 6% staff turnover for the year. According to Forbes, the usual rate in retail is around 60%.
There’s plenty of pros to working at Costco
Last year, Costco raised its minimum wage to $17 an hour – though most workers end up getting around $24 per hour as an average. By cutting costs in other ways – no shopping bags and minimal decor, for example – they’re able to pay their employees a fair wage. They also tend to promote from within, providing plenty of career progression.
Costco offer employee health benefits
As well as paying a decent wage, the company also offers their employees health benefits. It’s reported that 88% of employees benefit from the health package, which includes a counseling program, disability support, life insurance, and dependent care assistance.
Their store sizes are huge
The average store size for a Costco warehouse is 140,00 square feet – much larger than any competitors. Comparatively, that’s equal to an entire city block in Manhattan. The smallest Costco in the world comes in at 73,000 square feet, while the largest is a whopping 235,000.
Great quality for low prices
Costco’s signature private-brand products, Kirkland Signature – named after the company’s origins in Kirkland, take premium goods and offer them for low, low prices. Better still, the quality of the goods doesn’t suffer, in some cases they’re regarded as being even better than many well-known brand names.
They don’t advertise
Unlike many retailers, Costco famously chooses not to advertise. Their reasoning? They don’t need to – shoppers will flock to their doors regardless of TV ads. The lack of advertisement saves the brand heap loads of dollars, allowing them to keep their costs as low as possible.
Their history with cards
Once upon a time, Costco only accepted American Express from customers who wished to use credit cards. As of 2016, however, any Visa card is accepted! The split from Amex was cost-related, as Visa take a smaller fee from card transactions, along with the brand wanting to be more accessible to customers.
There’s a Costco magazine
For the most diehard Costco shoppers, there’s even a magazine you can get your hands on. It’s a monthly print, with one of the largest circulations in the entire country. The Costco Connection is also available online, being accessible to shoppers all around the globe.
You can shop without a membership
Contrary to popular belief, you don’t actually need a Costco card to shop at the premises – mainly due to legal loopholes. You can also accompany a card holder to the warehouse, weighing up whether you think it’s worth grabbing a membership card to nab all of those bargains.
Costco sells diamonds
Diamonds are Costco’s best friend! Despite being known for its cheap products, the retailer also sells glittering, expensive goods, including diamonds. The most expensive product on offer is a $330,000 platinum band with a 6.55-carat round diamond, available for purchase from Costco’s online store.
Tiffany and Costco once came to blows
Back in 2018, a judge ruled that Costco owed Tiffany & Co. more than $19 million. This is due to Costco using the Tiffany name when describing some of its rings. Costco argued that they were using the term generically, but the judge didn’t rule in their favor.
Costco counts as a pizza chain
The huge number of Costco stores – each of which sell freshly cooked pizzas – ranks the store comfortably within the top 20 best American pizza chains. Despite this, the pizzas are sold as a loss leader, being flogged off for only $2 for each slice.
Costco is in the motoring business
Costco doesn’t usually come to mind when you think of buying a brand new car, but the corporate giant surprisingly sold more than 520,000 vehicles back in 2017. This was through their no-haggle, auto-buying program that saw more than 3,000 dealerships participate across the United States.
Costco’s gas is nice and cheap
Although Costco’s gas prices vary (sometimes significantly) by location, their gas is typically six to 12 cents cheaper a gallon than shopping elsewhere. There’s over 636 Costco gas stations across the country, ready for drivers to fill up their tanks with their cheap fuel. Controversially, though, they don’t accept cash payments.
Costco shoppers are flush
The average household income for a Costco customer is around $100,000. Compare that to a Walmart shopper, who’s average yearly income comes in at roughly $76,000. Perhaps the reason Costco shoppers have more cash to splash is due to them picking up frequent bargains.
Their busiest day might surprise you
You’d think that avoiding the weekend rush and popping into Costco on a Monday would result in a stress-free, quiet shop. However, that’s not quite the case. Mondays are one of Costco’s busiest days, with everyone flocking to the store thinking that it’ll be nice and quiet.
You can get meds for your pets
We all know that you can buy medication to help keep any ailments at bay, but did you know that you can also buy medications for your furry friends? Costco’s membership program offers discounts on many pet meds, helping you to save those precious dollars.
You can return your goods
Even if you lose your receipt, Costco still offer a fantastic return policy. There are some restrictions – including electronics and jewelry – but for the most part, you can return an item to the store and receive a full refund. Perfect for those impulse purchases that you later regret.
Costco’s a movie star!
The giant retailer is so famous that it’s made numerous appearances on both the big and small screen. The Sopranos, Baskets, The Valet, and Idiocracy are all just some of the forms of media that have featured the store in their storylines, showing just how iconic the store is around the world.
You can buy a casket
It’s not easy to turn your thoughts to death, but, when you’re ready, Costco has got you covered. The retailer sells all sorts of caskets that can be shipped to funeral homes across the States. You can choose styles and colors, including special caskets for the armed services.
Samples are back!
Over the course of the pandemic, Costco put a halt to free samples across all of their stores, helping to prevent the spread of COVID. Now, the samples are back in most of their stores around the world, allowing customers to try before they buy.