Costco Gives Membership Fee Update as Price Hike Looms

Costco has teased a membership fee rise to its customers for a year and a half. As outgoing Costco CFO Richard Galanti has stated,

"It's a question of when, not if." The retailer just announced that it has no intentions to raise fees for now.

On March 7, Costco held an investor call to discuss its latest earnings results. When discussing membership pricing, Galanti said the company isn't ready to raise prices.

"We enjoy our performance. We appreciate that our company indicators are trending positively, he stated. "We've got plenty of runway left."

Galanti said he's "sure" the corporation would hike membership costs "at some point." He will step down as CFO on March 15 after nearly 40 years

for its Executive Membership, which has more benefits. Costco last hiked membership costs in June 2017, when the Gold Star Membership rose from $55 to $60

Historically, the corporation raised fees every five years and seven months. If Costco had continued that pattern, members' costs would have increased in January 2023.

In a December 2023 earnings conference, Galanti said Costco delayed longer to raise fees. Galanti said that shoppers are getting more out of their memberships due to the delay.

However, with Galanti resigning in a few days and former CEO Craig Jelinek leaving at the start of the year, Costco's leadership is in flux.

New CEO Ron Vachris and CFO Gary Millerchip may be more willing to raise fees than their predecessors.

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