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Costco Raising Membership Fees

Annual membership fees increasing between $5 and $10, effective Sept. 1
Emily Crowe, Progressive Grocer
Norwalk, California, USA - April 27, 2016: Customers are having food purchased at the food court of Costco, the largest membership-only warehouse in the United States.; Shutterstock ID 412756606
Annual Costco membership fees will increase later this year.

After months of discussion on the subject, Costco Wholesale Corp. has finally moved to raise its membership fees. Annual membership fees will increase by $5 for U.S. and Canada Gold Star (individual), Business and Business add-on members, while annual fees for Executive Memberships will increase from $120 to $130.

In addition, the maximum annual 2% reward associated with the Executive Membership is increasing from $1,000 to $1,250. 

The membership fee change will go into effect on September 1 and is expected to impact more than 52 million memberships. The last time Costco raised its membership fees in the United States and Canada was in June of 2017.

[RELATED: Sam’s Club Discontinues Popular Member Perk]

The decision was shared as the wholesaler released its June financial report, which reflected net sales of $24.48 billion for the five weeks ended July 7, a year-over-year jump of 7.4%. Net sales for the first 44 weeks, meanwhile, were $210.55 billion, an increase of 6.9% from $196.93 billion last year.

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Cash-strapped consumers continue to flock to Costco clubs for all of their household needs, as evidenced in the company’s third-quarter financial results, which were released in late May. For the period ended May 12, the company reported net income of $1.68 billion, or $3.78 per diluted share, up from $1.3 billion and $2.93 per diluted share last year. 

Net sales for Q3 were $57.39 billion, a 9.1% jump  from $52.6 billion in the third quarter of last year. Costco also reported that its Q3 membership fee income was $1.123 billion, an increase of $79 million, or 7.6% year over year. In terms of renewal rates, the U.S. and Canada renewal rate was 93%, up one-tenth of a percent from Q2 end.

Issaquah, Wash.-based Costco currently operates more than 880 warehouses, including 600-plus in the United States and Puerto Rico and 108 in Canada. The company is No. 3 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2024 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America. PG also named Costco among its Retailers of the Century.

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