Costco v. Wal-Mart...Fight!

Column in the NYT entitled How Costco Became the Anti-Wal-Mart that I found pretty interesting, much to my surprise. The thing that most interested me about it was the attitude the Wall Street guys in the article seem to have toward the work force.

But not everyone is happy with Costco’s business strategy. Some Wall Street analysts assert that Mr. Sinegal is overly generous not only to Costco’s customers but to its workers as well.

Costco’s average pay, for example, is $17 an hour, 42 percent higher than its fiercest rival, Sam’s Club. And Costco’s health plan makes those at many other retailers look Scroogish. One analyst, Bill Dreher of Deutsche Bank, complained last year that at Costco “it’s better to be an employee or a customer than a shareholder.”

Emme Kozloff, an analyst at Sanford C. Bernstein & Company, faulted Mr. Sinegal as being too generous to employees, noting that when analysts complained that Costco’s workers were paying just 4 percent toward their health costs, he raised that percentage only to 8 percent, when the retail average is 25 percent.

“He has been too benevolent,” she said. “He’s right that a happy employee is a productive long-term employee, but he could force employees to pick up a little more of the burden.”

I just spent a few days in a tiny little Oklahoma town where it seemed the only place you could go to get basic staples was the Wal-Mart. And we being dunderhead first time parents, we were there every single day picking up something else we forgot. And me being a dunderhead in general, I felt guilty about shopping there every single time. Stupid liberal guilt.

It’s good to be home and near Costco again. I do so heart Costco.

“Happy Halloween, Retail Rodeo shoppers. There’s a Retail Rodeo special on all bulk candy on Aisle 4. Ghouls and goblins, witches and warlocks, wandering these aisles day after day…I put a Halloween curse on your hellish heads.”

-Amanpour

Target is also much better than Walmart. Hell, anybody is!

Slate noted this last year during the election

Kerry = Costco
Bush = Wal-Mart

One analyst, Bill Dreher of Deutsche Bank, complained last year that at Costco “it’s better to be an employee or a customer than a shareholder.”

Ladies and Gentleman, let’s all take a good look at this sentence, and realize that it embodies what is wrong with corporations.

I thought it was this one:

“He’s right that a happy employee is a productive long-term employee, but he could force employees to pick up a little more of the burden.”

But of course, I live in commieland, so what do I know?
Over here IKEA pays like 25% higher wages than other retailers (to the lowest rung of the corporate ladder, that is). Since they’re global, I wonder whether that’s the case all over the world or just here?

I thought the exact same thing.

One analyst, Bill Dreher of Douche Bank, complained last year that at Costco “it’s better to be an employee or a customer than a shareholder.”

Fixed.

Wal-Mart doesn’t sell gasoline for 10 to 15 cents per gallon cheaper than anywhere else, so Costco wins.

One analyst, Bill Greyhair of Douche Bank, complained (while driving a giant sedan fueled by immolated orphan babies) last year that at Costco “it’s better to be an employee or a customer than a shareholder.” He then spit in a nun’s eye, and then honked at someone who had slowed down in front of him to let someone else into his lane.

Fixed, and with not a drop of sarcasm, either. What a jerkoff.

Man I love Costco.

That DVD bin is nice especially considering I’m a horrible shopper and if I’m going to buy something I might as well buy enough to last me a year.

Who doesn’t need a 5pack of pies? Seriously.

Here’s my question, why haven’t they spread?

Texas is nearly unconquered territory. I’ve never seen one anywhere in Texas. Sam’s Clubs everywhere. Targets of course, but no Costco.

And, so far in San Diego, I’ve seen a Wal-Mart. Notice the singular.

Sounds like a good plan for tomorrow though.

[ul]Explore the Costco[/ul]

How much does a costco membership cost?

$45 for an annual membership for a regular household. $110 annual for businesses. But if you’re anything like my parents, you easily save 10, 20, or 30 times that a year buying in bulk at Costco. Stuff that would keep a family of four or five fed easily costs 2x or 3x at a supermarket, and they’ve got some great, high-end brands at Costco, so you’re not settling for Smelly Joe’s generic cheep-o cheerio-like cereal substance.

Yeah, it’s the only place you buy like a leather recliner, a 5 pack of lettuce (!), and a giant slip and slide - slide that is the size of a garage then like a mason jar of Advil.

I have a hard time thinking anyone uses everything they buy at Costco, also it looks like you are in some land of the giants with the packaging.

The gasoline discount alone pays for the membership within a few months. The only downside is that it’s pretty inconvenient to only buy gas from one place and there’s long lines if you go there in the afternoons on the weekends like everyone else.

But yeah, it’s not going to completely replace your trip to the grocery store given the bulk you have to buy perishable stuff in. But it’s great to stock up on non-perishable stuff --drugs, razors, soda, bottled water, etc. The medium- to long-term savings are limited only by how much money you can drop at once and how much storage space you have at home.

Funniest thing I ever saw at Costco was a twelve pack of home pregnancy kits. That just cracked me up for some reason.

There are CostCos in Texas. I live in Plano and have a membership to one that can’t be but 2 miles away. Probably less than that.

Wal-Mart doesn’t sell gasoline for 10 to 15 cents per gallon cheaper than anywhere else, so Costco wins.

Sam’s Club does, though. At least here in Seattle.

There are quite a few Costcos in Texas.

Nationwide list of Costcos by state.

Also note the extremely long list for California, including San Diego.

I call it “Costs a C-Note Co.” I don’t think you can get out of there without dropping at least a hundy. ON ALL THE WOW GREAT BUYS!!!

The nice thing about Costco is you can return almost anything, anytime, with or without a reciept. I learned this when I couldn’t decide on what digital camera to purchase. It took me almost a year and a half (and 3 cameras, all high end digital SLRs) to settle on my current Cannon Rebel.

I spoke to the sales guy about their return policy. He said if I get sick of the Rebel anytime between now and 2011 I can just bring it back in for a full refund (save the docs and the stupid CDs!). I was just astonished that I could bring in my Minolta, which I had for 8 or 9 months, with no reciept, and get full credit on it toward the new camera. They were able to look up my purchase on the computer. Nice.

Yeah, and they warrantee their electronics for life.