Costco is one of the big dogs on the international retail scene. The membership-only chain has more than 800 stores in a dozen countries, and was identified last year as the world’s fifth largest retailer of any kind.
What do people buy at Costco? Electronics and appliances, furniture, office equipment, \automotive accessories — cars themselves, too. Costco sells more cars, in fact, than any retailer in the country besides AutoNation, even though Americans are buying fewer vehicles in general these days. (Based on declining sales, these are the 25 cars disappearing the fastest.)
Groceries and other household staples are high on the list, too. In fact, Costco is the nation’s largest purveyor of groceries in certain categories (including organic foods, prime meats, and rotisserie chicken, for which it is famous), and the chain’s single largest selling item is toilet paper, of which they reportedly sell more than a billion rolls a year. (Besides that bathroom necessity, see what Americans bought to prepare for the pandemic.)
But Costco also sells a lot of things you might never never have imagined that you’d find on their shelves, or for that matter might never have known that you needed.
Examples of the former might include a kilo of fine caviar or a pair of $8,000 diamond earrings. In the latter category, you’ll find, for instance, an electric shovel and a pool table set into the body of an actual 1969 Camaro.
Other items stand out as weird at Costco not because of what they are but because we’re not used to seeing them in such massive quantities. Has it ever occurred to you that what your pantry needs is 12 pounds of honey or 240 servings of freeze-dried shredded cheddar cheese? If it has, don’t worry: Costco has you covered.
Of course the chain doesn’t keep everything it sells on hand at every location. Some items are sold online only, and many require advance notice. But the next time you’re in the market for, well, almost anything, maybe check with Costco first.