If you’ve been waiting to see the price hike, it appears you’ll have a bit longer before your membership becomes more expensive.
When asked about raising membership fees during a call with investors last week, CFO Richard Galanti said Costco will do it “at some point” but not yet.
Membership growth has continued for Costco, Galanti explained. The company has seen both paid household members and cardholder totals increase by about 7% over last year.
Galanti pointed to inflation as contributing to Costco’s decision not to raise membership fees yet.
“Our view right now is that we’ve got enough leverage out there to drive business,” Galanti explained. “We feel that it’s incumbent upon us to be that beacon of light to our members in terms of holding them for right now.”
The last time Costco raised its base membership fee was in June 2017. The retailer has, historically, raised its Gold Star annual price every five years, with previous hikes happening five years and seven months apart.
Had the newest price hike followed that pattern, Gold Star members would have already seen the price increase, Galanti previously acknowledged. In December, he also pointed to inflation and fears of a recession as reasons to leave membership fees where they are.
Costco still seems wary of a potential recession. Galanti noted shoppers have been purchasing less beef and steaks in recent months, a trend he says could be a “concern” for a recession.
Last year, competitor Sam’s Club raised its membership fee. For now, it’s unclear when Costco will raise its membership fee. When asked, Galanti said, “we’ll let you know.”