Costco co-founder Jim Sinegal once told current CEO Craig Jelinek, “if you raise the [price of the] effing hot dog, I will kill you. Figure it out.” The hot dog is safe, for now, but membership prices are reportedly set to increase in 2023. Annual membership cost increases roughly every five years at Costco, and the last markup came in June 2017.
CivicScience polled Americans to gauge their price sensitivity toward Costco memberships. Among current Costco members only, sentiment is almost evenly split between levels of likelihood to retain their membership. Three in ten members claim they are ‘not at all likely’ to remain a member following the price increase – but that means 70% are at least somewhat likely to stick around. And those figures certainly might change if the price increase isn’t too drastic.
And as for those hot dog combos, more than half of Costco shoppers consider themselves at least ‘somewhat likely’ to buy one during a trip to the store – and one-quarter are ‘very likely’ to do so. Sam’s Club recently lowered its own prices on the cafeteria hot dog combo to $1.38 in a game of oneupmanship, but Sam’s Club members who also shop at Costco are a bit less keen on purchasing the hot dog combo at Costco – so it may not significantly move the needle in their favor.
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