Will Costco increase Gold Star and Executive subscribers' membership fees?

Is a Costco membership becoming more expensive?

Not right away.

Image: Costco, Enfield, CT 10/2014 by Mike Mozart of TheToyChannel and JeepersMedia on YouTube

Costco Chief Financial Officer Richard Galanti stated on a first-quarter earnings call on Thursday that the company does not have any pressure to raise its membership cost due to excellent renewal rates from loyal customers and new sign-ups. 

The large warehouse retail chain, which is exclusive to members, offers cheap groceries and other necessities to customers who are tired of inflation. 

Galanti remarked, "We haven't needed to do it." "We feel pretty good about what we're doing at this point."

Generally, Costco increases membership fees every five to six years. June 2017 saw the most recent increase in membership dues.

Galanti's statement that a price hike is "a question of when, not if" led to speculations that membership dues could increase shortly. 

Michael Lasser, an analyst at UBS, has been forecasting a rise in membership fees for several months. Lasser stated he anticipates having one next summer in a memo to clients.

According to Arun Sundaram, a stock analyst at CFRA, the quarterly results of Costco showed "the ingredients needed" for a membership fee raise. He notes that the hike "is past due based on historic trends (usually every 5.5 years)."

For Costco, membership fees are a vital source of income. Their revenue for the first quarter was $1.08 billion.

The annual fee of a Costco Gold Star membership is $60. $120 gets you an Executive membership.

A Gold Star membership is currently available for $20. For new users or customers whose membership expired over eighteen months ago, StackSocial is offering the following discount: Purchase a $60 Gold Star membership for a year, and you'll receive a $40 digital gift card to Costco.


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