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The Costco Experience: Buying in Bulk

Malini Yugendran

Malini Yugendran

Auckland, 2 December 2022

Costco (Photo: Indian Newslink)

Costco, one of the world’s largest wholesale retailers, launched in New Zealand on September 28, 2022, with Kiwis camping outside the store to gain access. Two months since its launch and there still seems to be a queue to enter the store at 2 Gunton Drive, Westgate, Auckland. Costco is a warehouse club with a large selection of consumables that boasts the best possible prices and quality. Indian Newslink investigates the Costco experience and assesses the cost-effectiveness of membership.

The membership processes

The membership registration counters (Photo: Indian Newslink)

Individuals can sign up for Costco membership online or in-store. The membership fee is $60 per year and is valid in all Costco warehouses worldwide. First-time patrons must proceed to the membership registration desk to collect a physical card. Only individuals with their membership cards on them are permitted to enter the store. The wait time to reach the top of the queue at the registration desk depends on the length of the line. It took Indian Newslink approximately 20 minutes on a Wednesday morning to reach the front of the line. Also, one must present a valid identification card to register as a member. The friendly staff at the counter will then take a photograph and print the Costco membership card for you. After receiving the card, customers may proceed to the floor above the registration place to obtain a trolley, as there is no trolley station on the store level. Before entering the wholesale retail floor, customers must show their Costco membership card to the admission personnel.

Customers queuing for registration (Photo: Indian Newslink)

The buying processes

 

Costco is a one-stop store for buying household goods, clothes, electronics, and consumables in bulk. The majority of commodities are packaged in larger quantities than in traditional supermarkets. Frozen Tegal Lousiana Chicken portions, for example, come in 1.8-kilogram pack rather than the standard 1 kg. White bread is supplied in packs of two. The majority of price tags also mention how much each item costs. A bag of croissants, for example, shows that each piece costs roughly $1.05.

Research shows that Costco’s roast chicken and toilet paper are some of its most popular products because of their low price, good quality, and large quantity. Similarly, New Zealand consumers appear to be carrying toilet paper in their carts.

Costco has a huge selection of items; however, it only stocks limited products in each category.

Purchasing in Costco

 

Buying in bulk may be less expensive and can save customers a lot of money. But customers should only buy bulk grocery products that they use on a regular basis. A package of 8 croissants, for example, may have a two-day shelf life. If an individual does not consume that many croissants in two days, this may go to waste. Costco’s bulk buying is best suited to large families. Smaller households should keep in mind that bulk purchases should be undertaken exclusively for goods that have a long shelf life. Buying in bulk is also beneficial only if there is sufficient storage space for the products that one buys. Frozen foods are available in larger quantities, and while they have a long shelf life, they can be cumbersome to store.

Costco origin

Costco Wholesale Corporation originated as the ‘Price Club’ in 1976 and has since grown to become one of the leading retailers in the United States and across the globe.

Malini Yugendran is an Indian Newlink reporter based in Auckland. 

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