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Costco Raising Prices, Membership Fees While Some Items May See Reductions

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Clear Facts

  • Costco has recently increased its prices on popular items such as gas and Kirkland Signature organic extra virgin olive oil.
  • Membership fees for Costco’s Gold and Executive levels may also see a price increase, the first since 2017, in the range of $5 to $10.
  • Former Costco CFO Richard Galanti stated that some items, like furniture and other bulky, lower-priced items, may start to see a decrease in price due to reduced freight costs.

It’s no secret that creeping price hikes have been a hardship for consumers. Costco, known for its bulk purchases and competitive prices, has long served as a refuge for budget-conscious shoppers.

Recently, however, shoppers have been caught off guard as the retail giant has started to increase prices on its popular goods.

One of the major areas where this increase has been seen is in Costco’s gas stations. Despite traditionally offering gas prices 30 to 50 cents cheaper than competitors, as highlighted by the GasBuddy app, Costco has discreetly raised its prices.

Richard Galanti, Costco’s former CFO, addressed this during the chain’s fiscal first-quarter earnings call.

He stated, “What we have found is we’ve been able to see improved profitability, not just in the last quarter or two but over the last few years, the last three to five years, improved profitability in gas because others are making more, and we’re allowed to make a little more.”

In another instance, shoppers across the U.S. and Canada have faced price escalations on the Kirkland Signature organic extra virgin olive oil. At one store in Brooklyn, the oil’s price rose from $16.99 in March 2023 to $24.99 this year.

In addition to this, Costco’s membership fees may also be in line for a price increase. Galanti hinted at a rise in price for the company’s popular Gold and Executive memberships, the first hike since 2017. The anticipated increase could fall anywhere between $5 and $10.

However, it’s not all bad news for Costco shoppers. Some bulky, lower-priced items, such as furniture, may start to see a price drop due to reduced freight costs.

Galanti said in the earnings call, “Some deflationary items were as much as 20% to 30%, and again, mostly freight-related.”

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The warehouse retailer’s iconic hot dog and soda combo, priced at $1.50, is, according to Galanti, expected to retain its price point for the time being. This combo has been a constant in Costco’s food court for around four decades and has maintained its price due to a commitment made by the company’s founders.

Costco is also now offering kimbap, a dish similar to sushi. It is competitively priced and has become a popular item at other grocery stores, frequently selling out. A customer reported, “You get 6 kimbap for $18, making it slightly cheaper than at other stores. Solid 8/10. We will definitely be getting it again once it’s back in stock.”

Let us know what you think, please share your thoughts in the comments below.

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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. August Campagna

    June 7, 2024 at 3:00 pm

    This is going to hurt the Seniors on limited fixed incomes
    who already have been subjected to increased prices on everything. I have weathered though several increases since Cosco originally opened in Oakbrook, Il, but it is getting to the point where decisions have to be made mainly keep accepting the increases or give up the Cosco Card

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