Costco Opportunities?

I should not critique or slightly criticize Costco because the Costco gods might get me…but I wanted to include a few suggestions to help make Costco a little bit better of a store to browse and shop.

1. Dressing Rooms. I know space is at a premium even in some of these large warehouses but because there are shorts, pants, jogging attire and other things regularly for sale at Costco, it would be helpful to try on some of these items to verify they fit before bringing them home. Would this help to mitigate the amount of clothing that would be returned by having a few dressing homes available near the clothing items?

2. Always Stock Key Items. At the Mettawa store in Illinois, no more mozzarella cheese in 2 pound packages, Boca burgers, Kirkland soymilk, unsalted peanuts to name a few. Some customers rely on these regular items to help save money and one day it’s gone from the store for good. After inquiring, you may learn an item may be available at a different store or region but that may not necessary help you, especially if you shop at only one Costco store.

3. Assistance Available Everywhere. Generally, when you are asked if you found everything, it is done at the checkout area. It appears checkout employees are concerned that you found everything while shopping but often if you’re struggling with finding something, it may be in the back of the store. It would be helpful to have associates at various parts of the store available to assist so you can get your issue resolved before you’re ready to pay.

4. Stackable Containers. Sell reusable, hard plastic containers that could hold frozen/refrigerator and other items that are stack-able where some of these containers could contain wheels. They could be light and sturdy at the same time. These could be branded with the Costco logo and available for purchase at any warehouse. This would certainly help when packing and unpacking your car and when you get home, you could slide or roll these containers to the freezer, refrigerator or pantry to ease the restocking process. Are there security or financial reasons why Costco has not implemented such a thing?

5. Improve Warehouse Hours. I know it is necessary to close the store for a certain period of time to get organized, do the necessary cleaning and restock the shelves but have they considered reviewing the hours? Why not make it a straight 9 am to 9 pm for 7 days a week. They’d still be closed for 12 hours each day to get the necessary work done and would provide customers a little more flexibility to do morning and evening shopping. It would certainly simplify things in terms of knowing when you could make a “Costco Run” avoiding having to call or search online for their hours. 

6. Implement Buzzer System. Over the last year, I’ve purchased 4 tires on two separate occasions and you’re asked to provide a telephone number so the auto department can reach out and notify you when they’re finished. Because the reception is so poor in the building and there’s a chance you might not hear your mobile phone, I’d recommend a buzzer system to be used — something similar to the buzzer system at a restaurant. That way, you know exactly when your car is ready or when the service technician may have a question about your car. This could possibly improve communication between the auto department and customer while the customer is waiting or shopping inside the store.

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.