The price of Costco’s Gold Star membership was last raised in 2017 when the retailer increased the annual cost by $5, from $55 to $60. Its higher-tier executive membership costs shoppers $120 annually. Costco’s leadership during the past several quarters has indicated customers would eventually see a membership fee increase, though it hasn’t yet shared a timeline.
The company typically increases the price of its memberships every 4-5 years. Costco competitor, Walmart-owned Sam’s Club, last year raised prices on its annual memberships from $45 per year to $50 per year for its standard membership and from $100 to $110 for its “Plus” higher-tier membership. It was the first time Sam’s Club increased its membership prices in nearly a decade.
Costco’s net sales in the third quarter, ending May 7, increased to $52.6 billion, up 1.9% from the same quarter last year. Globally, same-store sales were basically flat with a 0.3% increase compared to an anticipated 2.9% increase. E-commerce sales declined 10% in the quarter compared to last year, which Galanti attributed largely to overall declines in big-ticket item sales (down 20% year-over-year), such as home furnishing, small electronics, jewelry and hardware, which made up more than half (55%) of Costco’s e-commerce sales.
Costco has 853 stores, which includes 587 in the U.S., 107 in Canada, 40 in Mexico, 32 in Japan, 29 in the U.K.,18 in Korea, 14 in Taiwan, 14 in Australia, four in Spain, three in China, two in France and one each in Iceland, New Zealand and Sweden, according to the retailer.