As a giant warehouse store, Costco definitely knows a thing or two about offering up some of the best products for its customers. Whether you stop by for the famous hot dogs or you’re laser focused looking for deals, there are a couple of things that you should know about your favorite store. Here are 10 Mind-Blowing FACTS About Costco Wholesale (Part 2).
10. Shocking Best-Seller
When you think of Costco, there are probably a mix of things that come to mind – from the useful and delicious, to the somewhat odd. You can pretty much get anything you could possibly need or crave, all at a very reasonable price. From giant jars of mayonnaise to cheap gasoline, to a canoe!?! The possibilities at Costco just seem endless. But, what about “the” best-selling item? What’s the one thing that keeps everyone coming back for more? The one thing that Costco shoppers can’t seem to get enough of ? Well, surprisingly enough, it’s nothing in the edible department. No, Costco’s best-seller is… drum roll, please – toilet paper! The one thing that everybody seems to need a ton of – makes sense, considering. Remember when people went bananas at the beginning of the pandemic panic buying and hoarding toilet paper? Let’s just say no one wants to be in the same postion again – having to battle it out for T.P. Costco sells more than 1 billion rolls each year which accounts for about 0.3% of their total revenue. Obviously, since Kirkland is the chain’s signature brand, it’s always more economical to stock up on that one since it costs about half as much as the other brands. Despite its low price, Kirkland’s toilet paper still brings in around $400 million for the chain yearly. Although it’s not a top performer, Kirkland’s toilet paper is way more than qualified to keep you from running out, just in case another run on toilet paper were to hit us again.
9. Be Prepared
Costco can help you prepare for the unexpected in more ways than one way. Sure, you’ve got your trusty toilet paper stash, but as it turns out, you can also pick up some other pretty useful things. If you find yourself worrying about a possible zombie apocalypse or any other catastrophe, fear not because Costco has got you covered with its “Emergency Cube.” What are Emergency Cubes, you ask? It’s everything you would ever need if those zombies did make an appearance – at least to feed yourself anyway. They are kits ranging from $1,000 to $6,000 – depending on your anxiety level – that includes a mix of items such as grains, fruits, vegetables, proteins, and dairy products with a minimum 25-year shelf life. For instance, you can enjoy freeze-dried broccoli, green beans, corn, and dehydrated apples, as well as instant lentils and instant black beans that can last up to 30 years. The cheapest kit is $999.99 and contains 96 cans, enough to feed one person for a year, on a diet of 1,200 calories a day. The most expensive one, however, comes at $5,999.99 and has 600 cans of food, which can feed four people for a year on a daily diet of 2,000 calories. While these boxes are “packaged discreetly for privacy in shipping,” according to Costco, they still weigh about 1,800 pounds, which isn’t so subtle. So, if you want the comfort of knowing you’re all set for the worst-case scenario, Costco is there for you. Like the Boy Scouts say – Be Prepared.
8. Dirty Laundry
Ever since Costco came to be, the chain has been involved in a handful of scandals. From the time it sold fake Tiffany rings to accusations of lax pharmacy controls, Costco is no stranger to a little dose of public embarrassment. However, one of the most notorious – and let’s face it, kinda funny controversies, happened back in 2007 when Costco had to issue a public recall notice after a shocking discovery. They discovered that the punching bags made by Technical Knockout Inc weren’t filled with the usual sand, but rather with a bunch of dirty underwear. Yikes! Thongs, women’s underwear, men’s underwear, bathing suits – every single type of dirty undergarment you could think of was used as stuffing in the bags. This issue was brought to light after a Cincinnati family bought the bag as a Christmas present. After having some doubts and noticing an odd odor coming from the punching bag, the family opened it up to see what kind of sand or plastic pellet was being used. Of course, there was no sand and the foul smell coming from the inside was now confirmed. In the recall, Costco apologized and revealed that the material of the TKO punching bags did not “meet their high-quality standards.” Well, that’s an understatement. Of course, this family wasn’t the only one to be greeted by this stinky punching bag, and Costco sent a replacement to every poor soul – and those responsible for this dirty laundry mishap were fired.
7. Costco Sells A Lot Of Pizza
Every Costco connoisseur knows that you can’t take a trip to Costco without stopping by the food court. It’s like the number one rule in the “Costco handbook.” While most people will stick to the iconic, low-priced hot dog combo or the huge ice cream cones, the pizza is really where all the hype should be focused. Even though Costco is a warehouse store before anything else, it actually sells way more pizza than you would think. So much pizza, in fact, that it’s one of the largest pizza chains around. It can’t, however, qualify as a pizza franchise, but that doesn’t stop it from serving up some truly delicious pizza. With nearly 500 stores in the United States alone, Costco would be among the top 20 pizza chains in the country. The stores even have to be equipped with automated sauce spinners, which spreads the sauce on the dough to keep up with such high demand. Let’s just say that with a price so low, larger-than-life slices, and a taste so satisfying, this pizza being in high demand is nothing but unexpected. And the best part? You can even call the foodcourt and place an order in advance for pick up. Not only will the employees appreciate the heads up, but you also won’t have to wait around for your pizza to be ready. All you have to do is show up and enjoy your quality pizza that much quicker. So basically, every night should be pizza night when you can get your hands on Costco’s pizza pies.
6. You Don’t Need A Membership
For those who don’t have a Costco membership card yet, the whole concept may seem a little “elite” or even “too much” to you. Whether it’s because you don’t live near a Costco, or you don’t plan on going often, or simply because you don’t feel like paying a fee to go grocery shopping, we’re here to tell you that you don’t actually need a membership card to enjoy the perks. Having to hold a membership card to shop at this giant retailer is one of the biggest Costco myths. All you need is one really good card carrying friend or family member who will let you tag along with them on their next Costco run, and you are good to go. The only problem is they would still have to pay for your finds at the cash, and you would be completely dependent on them whenever you wanted to go. So, what if they don’t want to pay for your giant tub of peanut butter or they’re too busy to come with you? There’s an even better solution: ask them to purchase a Costco Cash Card on your behalf and go wild! When in possession of this card, you can do your shopping on your own and pay for your own stuff! It’s essentially a gift card that gives you – almost – full immunity. And if you really don’t know anybody, in some states, you can still try Kirkland Signature wines and go to the pharmacy without any card whatsoever. No membership card? No problem!
5. Costco Is There For The Big Moments
“Love is in the air” is probably not the first thing you think about when you’re pacing through the Costco aisles. You don’t think the love of your life is going to magically appear in front of you, next to the huge box of mac and cheese you’ve been eyeing – and yet, this is exactly what happened to a young couple at a Costco in Waipahu, Hawaii, in 2017. Jessica and Brandon Brown were brought together by fate – or mac and cheese – they exchanged numbers, and the rest is history. A month after tying the knot, the couple returned to where it all started and took wedding pictures in the very aisle they met. But, the Browns weren’t the only Costco members to find true love while on a grocery run. At a Santa Maria, California Costco in December 2014, a bride walked down the aisle – the frozen food aisle to be exact – to meet her groom, whom she had met a year prior in the same exact spot. Robert and Meredith Bonilla got married, right there, in a Costco! They got special permission from management to hold the ceremony after operating hours. You can already buy the cake, the rings, and the flowers at Costco, so why not a ceremony as well? But, don’t start calling up your local Costco to save the date; it was only a one-time thing.
4. The Work Of Fiction
Let’s just put it this way – if you can find a spouse at Costco, you can find anything! From craving fixes to apocalypse essentials, Costco’s aisles are full of treasures and some things you would probably never expect to find there – like the word of god – or, well, a bible. Yes! You can purchase a Holy Bible at your local Costco, right there, in the fiction section. At least, that’s what a Simi Valley pastor, Caleb Kaltenbach, noticed in November 2013 while he was browsing the books at Costco. He was looking for a gift for his wife when he made the discovery that their copies of the Bible, sold for $14.99, were labeled “fiction.” Obviously, this didn’t sit well with Kaltenbach, being a pastor and all, so he shared his find online. His post created a minor Twitter flare-up, and soon enough, it became the talk of the town. People began questioning not only the integrity of the company but also comparing other religious books sold at Costco and asking why these weren’t put under the “fiction” label as well. Costco quickly issued an apology, blaming the labeling mistake on one of its distributors. They claimed they should’ve caught the error and took care of correctly relabeling all mislabeled Bibles. Thankfully, the matter was resolved, and the Bible is now sold under the proper category.
3. Unlabeled Aisles
When going to Costco, if there’s one thing we know for sure, it’s that you never simply go for only one thing. Even if that’s your initial plan, it’s practically impossible to follow – especially when you have to venture deep into the bowels of the store just to find that one single bag of chips. Why is that? Because the aisles are not labeled, meaning you need to search every single aisle to find what you’re looking for. This is done for the exact same reason that the most expensive items are in the center of the store – to make sure you see them. If the aisles had a label, you would most likely just head over to that aisle, grab your one item, and get out. But this way? You have no choice but to visit the entire store. And if you think you’ve cracked the code and know which aisles contain the buying traps, don’t get ahead of yourself. Chances are, the entire layout changed over the weekend, and now you’ll just be welcomed with a whole new realm of tempting products. That bottle of detergent you bought last week in the 3rd aisle to the left? Long gone – it’s now in aisle 8. In other words, nothing at Costco is random – if you ended finding a cart full of “treasures,” it’s because they wanted you to find them.
2. Employees Are Treated Right
Usually, retail service jobs aren’t always the highest paying or most respected out there. You hear a lot of stories about underpaid hardworking employees not getting the recognition they deserve and rebelling against the company. At Costco, however, it’s a different story. With over 270,000 employees worldwide, treating every single one of them right could be a difficult task, but Costco is able to keep everyone happy and content in their jobs. So much so, in fact, that the employee turnover rate is below 6 percent, and the company has a 94 percent employee retention rate. The fact that nearly everybody stays at Costco means they’re probably doing something right, and when you look at the numbers, it couldn’t be clearer. Just based on salary, Costco is already ahead in the race. Costco’s starting wage has been raised to $16 an hour, and the CEO has said that the average hourly worker earns $22.50 an hour. Compared to most other retail jobs, Costco’s salaries are superior. But, the generous pay isn’t the only good thing about working at Costco. Almost 90% of Costco workers have access to a lot of benefits, like health, dental, and vision care. They are eligible for a counselling programs, short and long-term disability for accidents or illness, life insurance, and so many other advantages, making working at Costco all the more beneficial.
1. The Chicken Isn’t Profitable
Even if you don’t have a Costco card, you’ve probably at least heard about Costco’s famous rotisserie chicken. It’s huge, delicious, and oh so cheap. For only $4.99, you can get your hands on a 3-pound, juicy chicken. And at this price? It’s pretty hard to resist. The rotisserie chicken is another one of the chain’s best-sellers with over 64 million units sold in 2018, which is roughly 179,000 rotisserie chickens processed every day. You would think that such a successful and enticing deal would bring a lot of profit to the chain, but in reality, it’s the complete opposite; the rotisserie chicken is a loss leader. By keeping the price of the chicken so low, the company loses an estimated $30 to $40 million a year. So, why do they keep selling them at this price if they’re losing money? To create foot traffic – the same foot traffic that makes you leave the store with twice as much stuff as you came in to get. Everything has been placed strategically so that when you walk past it, the smells, the look, and the prices will suck you right in. Basically, you go in to pick up a rotisserie chicken, and you end up leaving with a new TV. Plus, by keeping the same low price, it reinforces their customers’ loyalty by assuring them their precious chicken dinner will never be overpriced.