I love Costco. Unfortunately, so does everyone else. I used to be able to time my visits when it was less crowded. Not anymore. It is always packed. Short of building new stores, here are a few ideas I would implement if I were The King of Costco.
- Paint Directional Arrows on the Floor (like IKEA) – Getting all the carts moving in the same direction would greatly help the shopping flow. These carts are HUGE. Whenever someone turns their cart around and starts heading against the general flow, things lock up.
- Do Something About the Free Sample People – I can’t stand these free sample stations peddling cheap processed carbohydrates. Some ideas include having a bell ring that causes them to go into hiding once the store has reached a threshold. Or having them all moved to a single aisle. How about setting aside one day of week, like Wednesday, where the free sample people get the day off?
- Shopping Day For Men – Reserve one day of the week where Costco plays profanity laced rock and rap music. Not that I enjoy either, but I can tolerate it better than parents and old people. No free food. No coupons. No checks. Actually I’d love to see this across the retail sector. It’d be a huge hit.
- Sell Diesel Fuel – People who buy Costco memberships are value shoppers. So are those of us that bought diesel cars. Sell me some diesel!
- Bring Back the Coconut Milk – Now!
That is all. If you were The King of Costco, what changes would you make?
Sep 29, 2010 — 6:25 pm
If I were King of Costco I would stop treating everybody like a potential thief by discontinuing the secondary checks of your basket and receipt at the exit.
Plus, the people that do it in my neighborhood tend to have surly attitudes to boot.
That’s why I prefer Sam’s Club…much better Walmart -style customer service.
Sep 29, 2010 — 8:31 pm
In addition to Mikes comment, I would lighten up on the decision making regarding flat tire fixes or bag the tire dept all together. They simply won’t fix tires that are typically considered fine by other tire centers, which results in a major hassle. NEVER BUY COSTCO TIRES.
I would put content signs in all the isles so it would be easier to find items since staff are usually always up in the front.
I would drop/reduce the yearly membership fee if revenues were up to par.
Sep 30, 2010 — 8:34 am
@Mike – Good point. I’ve been conditioned over the past decade to prove my innocence as a part of the shopping experience.
@Ed – Love the content sign idea. However, I wouldn’t lower the membership fees as the stores are already too crowded. 🙂
Oct 1, 2010 — 7:53 pm
I’d ship to APO/FPO addresses.
Oct 2, 2010 — 1:39 pm
I would get a membership at Sam’s Club and not go to Costco (wait, I already did that! :)). They have more of the stuff I need, nicer people and lower fees even though I have to drive further to get to one.