Top 5 Things You Didn't Know About Costco
VOICE OVER: Ashley Bowman
Written by Savannah Sher
This members-only wholesale chain is an essential grocery shopping stop for many Americans, but how much do you really know about it? Welcome to WatchMojo's Top 5 Facts. In this instalment, we're counting down the Top 5 Facts About Costco. Come along as we go behind the scenes to see how this hugely successful business functions, and explore the history of this corporation.
Special thanks to our user Savannah Alexis for submitting the idea on our interactive suggestion tool: WatchMojo.comsuggest
This members-only wholesale chain is an essential grocery shopping stop for many Americans, but how much do you really know about it? Welcome to WatchMojo’s Top 5 Facts. In this instalment, we’re counting down the Top 5 Facts About Costco. Come along as we go behind the scenes to see how this hugely successful business functions, and explore the history of this corporation.
#5: Costco Has Had Conflict with Some Big Name Brands
Has Costco stopped carrying a favorite product of yours? While this happens at all stores, Costco is known to hold its retail partners to a particularly high standard, and has given a few companies the boot over the years. Back in 2009, the retail giant temporarily took all products made by Coca-Cola off their shelves after a disagreement over pricing. They had a similar conflict with Starbucks when the coffee chain failed to disclose a price change in their coffee beans. That being said, Costco has also been on the other side of things, like in 2013, when they faced a lawsuit for selling “Tiffany Engagement Rings” that weren’t actually made by Tiffany and Co but reportedly misled many customers to think they were..
#4: The 1st Store Was a Converted Airplane Hangar
Unlike with some other big name companies, the history of Costco isn’t a tale that’s been drilled into the public consciousness. The earliest iteration of this business, “Price Club,” opened in 1976 and was the first store of its kind. The initial concept was to cater to small businesses, but the creators quickly realized that they could increase their profits exponentially by serving the general public as well. The first store was located on Morena Boulevard in San Diego, California in buildings that previously functioned as an airplane hangar. Stores today continue to be modeled in the same fashion, albeit in traditional warehouses without the high-flying legacy.
#3: The Company Sells 157,000 Rotisserie Chickens Every Day & LOSES Money
While Costco has a few landmark items on its shelves, there is arguably none more beloved than their rotisserie chicken. What other wholesale product can boast a fan page with over 10 thousands followers? The price has remained unchanged for years ($4.99 USD), which is actually below Costco’s price per unit. All said and done, these chickens lose Costco $30 to $40 million per year. So why not raise the price? Because it’s one of the items that keeps customers coming back. And honestly, have you ever left Costco with only a roast in your cart? Another fun fact- Costco sells more hot dogs than every major baseball stadium combined.
#2: You Can Buy Some Crazy Stuff There
When you’re making your way down the Costco aisles, you’ve likely had more than one or two items catch your eye and make you do a double take. And while there may be some interesting stuff on the warehouse shelves, the products they sell on their website are even more broadly ranging. One of the more extreme things available for purchase is the “Emergency Cube,” which contains 31,500 servings of freeze-dried and dehydrated food for end of days type situations. They also sell things for every stage of life- including caskets!
#1: They Pay Their Employees Really Well
Costco has been widely praised for their treatment of employees. But not everyone realizes just how great it is to work at Costco. The CEO believes in offering a living wage, so employees start at $11.50 an hour (as of 2013). That’s significantly higher than the national minimum wage of $7.25. And on average, employees actually make much more than that, with the median wage being $21 an hour. The majority of the company’s employees also receive benefits packages. Costco’s competitors don’t come close to offering anything similar, with Sam’s Club paying on average 42 percent less. They also tend to hire internally and have been known to reject business school graduates.