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Costco membership price increasing soon?

The popular warehouse retailer, Costco, is hinting at the possibility of a membership fee increase in the near future. While the company has not officially announced any changes, Chief Financial Officer Richard Galanti recently stated that a price hike for its Gold Star membership is a matter of “when, not if.”

Costco last increased its base membership fee in June of 2017. Traditionally, the retailer has raised the Gold Star annual price every five years, with the previous three increases happening five years and seven months apart. If the newest price hike follows the same pattern, Gold Star members should have already seen a price increase.

However, Galanti has been hinting since early last year that a membership price hike would happen “at some point.” In December, he stated that there was “no rush” to raise the membership fee due to concerns about inflation and a possible recession.

Despite the uncertainty surrounding a potential price increase, Costco’s membership numbers remain high. The company recently reported that more than 1 million new members joined in the previous quarter, and membership renewal rates remain above 90% in the United States and Canada.

Executive Memberships, which comprise approximately 45% of the company’s current shoppers, account for roughly 73% of sales. Currently, a Costco Gold Star Membership costs $60, while an Executive Membership costs $120.

While competitor Sam’s Club recently raised its membership fee, Costco has yet to make any official announcements regarding a potential fee increase. When asked about the timing of a price hike, Galanti stated that “we’ll let you know.”

Categories: BusinessNews