The reasons why Costco made sense for us are probably not dissimilar from the reasons of its ~100 million other members. Since its founding in 1983, the store has consistently delivered on providing value by selling almost any kind of product at competitive prices (among other things). In a ‘late-stage-capitalist’ landscape riddled with examples of, at worst, blatant greed, scams, and ripoffs, and at best, inadvertent marginalization from platforms, shopping at Costco is one of the few places that, according to its loyal customers, “feels like winning.”
Costco has been able to cement itself simultaneously as an inculpable crowd favorite and mothership of bottomless consumerism. I will ponder whether or not consumer happiness or value is the best proxy for individual (and environmental) well being, whether or not you can truly have your free sample and eat it too.
My wife and I are big fans of Costco. Even though it’s a two hour one way trip (including a ferry ride) away, we look forward to shopping there. As a matter of fact, we’ve got a big “Costco shop” planned for tomorrow. We’ll make a day of it in the Big City. While she gets her hair done, I’ll shop for new stuff for our recently adopted puppy and then we’ll go to Costco and have sushi afterward. Sounds like a perfect Valentine’s Day.