Costco is now cracking down on its membership program after noticing an increase in non-members using cards that do not belong to them.
Key details: The warehouse club retailer said on Friday that non-members have been using cards that belong to paying members at Costco’s newly expanded self-checkout counters.
In the statement, Costco noted that it did not feel right “that non-members receive the same benefits and pricing as our members.”
What they’re doing about it: To address the issue, Costco announced that it will now implement an identification routine at the self-checkout counters. Staffers will ask shoppers to show them their membership card and a photo ID, similar to what’s being done at Costco’s regular checkout lanes.
The importance of membership fees: Costco explained in its statement that annual memberships — Gold Star for $60 and Executive for $120 — help offset its operational expenses, which in turn enables it to keep its prices “as low as possible.”
Membership fee increase: Although no specific dates have been announced yet, Costco has on several occasions addressed the idea of increasing its membership fees.
Costco Chief Financial Officer Richard Galanti spoke about the matter during the company’s earnings call on May 25 and noted that the membership fee increase will happen “at some point.”
“It’s not a matter of a big time, but we’ll let you know as soon as we know,” he said.
Earnings: Costco reportedly made $4.2 billion in global membership fees alone in 2022. Back in 2021, the multinational corporation made $3.88 billion in global membership fees alone.