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Wingding wrote:
Apr 30th, 2012 7:36 pm
What I find most fascinating about Costco is that we can be made to buy varieties or types of a product that we wouldn't normally buy, just because it's such a good deal.

EG, you go to buy your favorite brand of soup (call it CamsBalls) but Costco only sells it a 24-unit assorted case with 12 Cream of Toad, 6 Vulture Noodle, and 6 Eye of Newt. Even though you only really like Vulture Noodle and you threw up last time you had Eye of Newt, you still buy the 24-pack, despite the probably lousy utility-value factor.

THAT is crazy!

That and the 24 pack is only a few cents cheaper than buying them individually at no frills or food basics.
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As much as I love Costco, one thing in particular drives me bonkers about them. You cannot count on them being consistent with the products they stock. For example, you can find a 3-pack of X-Brand deodorant at Costco for 6 months straight, and then, all of a sudden, they no longer carry that particular product. This has happened to me with at least a dozen different products ranging from toothpaste to snack chips to frozen food. That is the only real complaint I have with them...but like I said, it drives me nuts!

PS - Kirkland TP is #1 for #2!
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blakjak wrote:
Apr 30th, 2012 9:54 pm
As much as I love Costco, one thing in particular drives me bonkers about them. You cannot count on them being consistent with the products they stock. For example, you can find a 3-pack of X-Brand deodorant at Costco for 6 months straight, and then, all of a sudden, they no longer carry that particular product. This has happened to me with at least a dozen different products ranging from toothpaste to snack chips to frozen food. That is the only real complaint I have with them...but like I said, it drives me nuts!

PS - Kirkland TP is #1 for #2!

explain :cheesygri
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It's hard for me to understand how Costco is doing so well in the STATES. In Canada, Costco runs a virtual monopoly when it comes to warehouse-style retail. Frankly, I think the prices at Canadian Costco could be higher and you would still see the chain do well up here because consumers simply have no other choice.

Not so in the US. Not only are they competing with other warehouse giants (like Sammy's), they also compete with regular retail stores (like Walmart and Target) that are actually competitive, not to mention online giants like Amazon.
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Apr 25, 2006
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ilove wrote:
May 1st, 2012 12:52 am
It's hard for me to understand how Costco is doing so well in the STATES. In Canada, Costco runs a virtual monopoly when it comes to warehouse-style retail. Frankly, I think the prices at Canadian Costco could be higher and you would still see the chain do well up here because consumers simply have no other choice.

Not so in the US. Not only are they competing with other warehouse giants (like Sammy's), they also compete with regular retail stores (like Walmart and Target) that are actually competitive, not to mention online giants like Amazon.
In the states they have 50%+ of the market. They talk about why it does well in the documentary. In the documentary they talk about the average wage being $20/hour. In canada for Cashiers its $23/hour.

I don't get CNBC so I just downloaded it off Megashares... I am sure its available on torrents.
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NG wrote:
Apr 30th, 2012 8:09 pm
I just wish they'd open up 'regular' department stores like everybody else.

:facepalm: That would completely defeat their current business model & how they make money.

What I found unique during my brief tenure there (couple semesters back in Uni) was a company that voluntarily structured itself like it had a union (closed on holidays, set raises at xx hours, benefits, etc) - Rather rare in this day and age.
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blakjak wrote:
Apr 30th, 2012 9:54 pm
As much as I love Costco, one thing in particular drives me bonkers about them. You cannot count on them being consistent with the products they stock. For example, you can find a 3-pack of X-Brand deodorant at Costco for 6 months straight, and then, all of a sudden, they no longer carry that particular product. This has happened to me with at least a dozen different products ranging from toothpaste to snack chips to frozen food. That is the only real complaint I have with them...but like I said, it drives me nuts!
They do this because if they can't get the best price from the supplier, they simply discontinue carrying the product.
PS - Kirkland TP is #1 for #2!

I have to say it's been a couple of years since I last used it, so perhaps they changed it recently?
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Pauly Boy wrote:
May 1st, 2012 11:36 am
What I found unique during my brief tenure there (couple semesters back in Uni) was a company that voluntarily structured itself like it had a union (closed on holidays, set raises at xx hours, benefits, etc) - Rather rare in this day and age.

Isn't there some sort of employee ownership thing involved too?
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Costco everyday prices are generally more expensive than your local grocery store BUT their quality is way up there. I generally only visit Costco for stuff that's on promo. Alot of their onsale stuff are hard to beat.
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4flava wrote:
May 1st, 2012 1:09 pm
Costco everyday prices are generally more expensive than your local grocery store BUT their quality is way up there. I generally only visit Costco for stuff that's on promo. Alot of their onsale stuff are hard to beat.

I think this depends on what you are shopping for. I'd say a good majority of items are cheaper, when comparing same brands or simular brands. If you are talking about comparing a quality product from costco vs. a simular lower quality product from a grocery chain than thats a different story.
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Oct 7, 2007
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I like the Kirkland stuff and they are usually very high quality. Brand-name stuff is still cheaper compare to other places if you compare regular price. But of course Costco lose out if the other stores have discounts. Coke products is a good example of this.

The best thing is that they don't usually carry bad quality products and should something breaks I can return it and get a refund.

The bad thing about Costco would be the limited selection and how products changes from time to time with no consistencies. I guess they largely depends on the supplier or the season, but it's difficult to count on them having stock of something sometimes.
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Pauly Boy wrote:
May 1st, 2012 11:36 am
:facepalm: That would completely defeat their current business model & how they make money.

What I found unique during my brief tenure there (couple semesters back in Uni) was a company that voluntarily structured itself like it had a union (closed on holidays, set raises at xx hours, benefits, etc) - Rather rare in this day and age.

Nobody said they couldn't still operate their big box stores under the same model.

Nobody said they couldn't adjust their pricing to stay profitable if they opened departments stores.

Nobody said they couldn't still treat their employees well which is a big draw for many customers.
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NG wrote:
May 1st, 2012 1:40 pm
Nobody said they couldn't still operate their big box stores under the same model.

Nobody said they couldn't adjust their pricing to stay profitable if they opened departments stores.

Nobody said they couldn't still treat their employees well which is a big draw for many customers.

I don't think you understand how Costco makes money. It's mostly from memberships. They don't make a lot from of their merchandise.
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Sep 21, 2004
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I personally love shopping at costco for the many reasons previously mentioned.

Some interesting tidbits from my experience w/ Costco.

1) Mrs Stock at one point was a hiring manager and they had some positions to fill. Anyone with "Costco" on their resume was snatched up and hired very promptly because previous experience showed that former Costco employees for that job category had excellent training, job experience, work ethics.

2) My neighbour, husband and wife, both work at Costco. They love working there, have no complaints, and buy everything from there. I haven't ever encountered a disgruntled Costco employee. If you refer back to #1, those people were only changing jobs for a better opportunity, not because they were unhappy.
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ilove wrote:
May 1st, 2012 12:52 am
It's hard for me to understand how Costco is doing so well in the STATES. In Canada, Costco runs a virtual monopoly when it comes to warehouse-style retail. Frankly, I think the prices at Canadian Costco could be higher and you would still see the chain do well up here because consumers simply have no other choice.

Not so in the US. Not only are they competing with other warehouse giants (like Sammy's), they also compete with regular retail stores (like Walmart and Target) that are actually competitive, not to mention online giants like Amazon.

I think you need to watch the documentary to understand why they do well in the US. The product selection and the attention they give to it shows. I belonged to Sam's Club when it was in Canada and it just couldn't compete on product selection. Many Sam's items were available in Walmart for similar prices. Any price difference did not justify the membership fee. The clothing that Costco carries is so much better quality than Sam's. Sam's was actually awful in Canada. Products were covered in dust and weren't fresh like at Costco. I saw milk that expired in 2 days. In the US, I bought OTC drugs and 4 months later, they still had the same expiry date/ lot on the shelf. One thing about Costco is the product turnover rate is incredible. You really need to grab things when you first see them. You will never find old stock on the shelf especially with products with expiry dates. I have also shopped at Sam's in the US and Costco is definitely superior. You can't compare Costco to Walmart or Target. Not only are they not price competitive but Costco carries a unique product set.

In terms of how they treat their employees, Costco beats them all and it shows in the service you receive. I have never heard a Costco employee complaining nor have I ever received poor service but I definitely can't say the same about Sam's or Walmart employees. Target is also a terrible employer. You only have to look at what they are doing to the Zellers employees to see that (although they do have an anti-union history).
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