If You Shop at Costco, Prepare for This Major Change at Over 220 Stores
Your local warehouse might have a new addition before the end of the year.
Being part of a members-only warehouse club has its perks, and if you're a Costco member, you know that they've got a lot to offer. Bulk goods line the aisles, including name-brand products and those from Costco's in-house Kirkland label. Then there are the retailer's signature free samples, which employees offer throughout the grocery department, and the famous food court. But now, Costco is rolling out an additional perk for members, which is slated to hit over 220 stores before the end of the year. Read on to find out what Costco has in store for shoppers.
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Costco stores have been changing with the times.
Costco has made different updates to its business model this year, including leaving some perks behind. In April, the big-box retailer announced that it would no longer offer special COVID senior hours for in-store shopping. The wholesaler also made another change in July, stating that an active Costco membership would be required to purchase gas from Costco pumps in New Jersey.
The food court saw changed pricing amid inflation, upping the cost of the popular chicken bake and 20-ounce soda. But many were happy to learn that one of the most beloved menu items—the hot dog and soda combo wouldn't see a price increase. When asked if Costco had plans to increase the $1.50 combo price during an interview on CNBC's Squawk on the Street, Costco CEO Craig Jelinek simply responded, "No."
Now, the retailer has another change planned for Costco warehouses—and thankfully it's an upgrade.
You might notice something new on your next Costco shopping trip.
During the pandemic, many of us became accustomed to curbside and in-store pickup. The process helped limit contact with others and slow the spread of the virus, but even as restrictions have eased, many retailers still offer this shopping option—including Costco.
The retailer is bringing more e-commerce lockers to over 224 Costco locations in the U.S., Richard Galanti, executive vice president and chief financial officer, stated on a Dec. 2021 earnings call. As of December, Costco had lockers at 112 locations in the U.S., and Galanti said the retailer planned "to more than double that number during calendar year 2022."
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Here's how the lockers work
These convenient e-commerce lockers allow you to place an order online or through the Costco app and have it fulfilled at your local Costco. You can browse for eligible items—a large television or a new hammock won't be fitting into these compartments—and if your store has pickup lockers, you should see an option for locker pickup, Kiplinger reported.
Once it's ready, you can use the touchscreen to enter a code you've been sent, open the locker compartment, and take your items.
Unfortunately, Costco doesn't provide a list of stores that currently have these e-commerce lockers, nor did Galanti offer information on where future lockers would be installed. But the lockers will be pretty hard to miss. They're white in color and have a total of 30 compartments, with a touchscreen for inputting your order information.
There are also pickup lockers for prescriptions.
If you fill your prescriptions at Costco, you'll also be happy to learn that certain warehouses also have lockers for prescription pickup, per Kiplinger.
On the Costco Pharmacy website, there is information on warehouse pickup, which notes "New Rx Locker Pickup available at limited Costco pharmacy locations." Similar to the e-commerce lockers, you refill your prescriptions through the Costco app (or by text or phone) and you'll get an "Rx Ready Text" when your prescriptions are ready. If your Costco has locker pickup, you can click the link and select "Locker" as the location. Once the pharmacy has safely stowed your prescription in the locker, you'll get a unique code via text.
Skip the pharmacy line and head to the automated pickup lockers, enter your unique code, and take your prescriptions with ease. The retailer recommends contacting your warehouse's pharmacy staff with additional questions or for more information.