How is Costco Getting it Done?

Five Things I Love About Costco Stores

1. KIRKLAND PRODUCTS – About 20% of all products sold at Costco are Kirkland products. Because of Costco’s focus on quality, these products exceed the quality of most brand merchandise. In addition, they cost less than most brand items and because you’re shopping at Costco — general markup is only around 15%.

These high-value Kirkland products range from raw almonds to laundry detergent to soymilk to facial tissue. While shopping at Costco these days, not one hesitation in choosing Kirkland. My only question, will they continue to add more and more Kirkland items to compete with all brand name merchandise inside Costco?

Costco Food Court

2. COUPONS – If you’re flexible, there are dozens of products on sale at a given time. These sale items are already only 15% above cost but with an additional discount of 10-20%, it can be a great deal. Sometimes, you need to bring in the coupons to get the discount but other items are on sale and the reduction is automatically taken at checkout.

Just remember the old adage; even if the item is on sale, it’s only a good deal if you need that particular product.

3. SURPRISE MERCHANDISE – There appears to be new and different merchandise available from to time. This might be bedroom furniture, spring or fall perennials or men’s suits. You don’t know what it will be but regardless, often, it’s typically different and brings a “fresh” approach to the store.

4. GREAT PRODUCE – Their grapes may cost around $2 per pound which is not inexpensive ($7 or $8 for 4 pounds) but you can be assured that the quality is quite good. Their lettuce, greens and fresh vegetables are very good quality at a very competitive price. I know oranges come in 11 or 12-pound containers but the cost is around $10 and the quality is quite good. If you don’t mind dealing with a larger quantity, you can’t beat the price and quality.

5. RESTAURANT FOOD – I don’t typically purchase Costco’s restaurant food but regardless, the price is tremendous. A soft drink for .49 (free refills) or a smoothie for $1.49 is almost impossible to beat. Even though I don’t typically partake, my kids and their friends typically are not shy with grabbing some pizza, a drink or a $1.49 hotdog (includes a drink).

6. VALUE – Friends and relatives who are unfamiliar with Costco are wondering how much you can save at Costco. They also wonder why you must pay around $50-100 for an annual membership. First, I remind them about the fact it’s a buyer’s club and those typically have a membership fee. Second, it’s all about value. Yes, prices are very competitive as their mark-up on most items are lower than 90% of all grocers. Regardless of price, the quality is there along with a competitive price. That means it’s about value more so than just price or just quality. To me, value is the intersection of price and quality and so when someone says Costco, one of the first things I think about is “value.”

MY BAD…I had originally intended to just name five positive things about Costco but easily came up with six. What does that say?

 

Kevin Schwarm

I have over 25 years of professional experience in business, information technology (IT), and customer service. Industry experience in retail, medical insurance, higher education, non-profit, financial services, and property and casualty insurance. Customer focused professional interested in providing value (save time, money and aggravation) by evaluating and analyzing information, services and products with a unique perspective.

21 Responses

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