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Costco Will Stop Selling a Popular Product Year-Round

The retailer will make the change to its inventory early next year, according to a report.

Part of why Costco stands out from its fellow grocers is the mind-boggling range of products and services shoppers can access under one warehouse roof, from bulk groceries to tire centers and affordable food courts. But starting in 2025, the retailer will stop offering one of its popular product categories year-round.

Costco plans to stop selling books on a regular basis in January next year, several anonymous publishing executives told The New York Times. Instead, Costco will only offer books during the holiday shopping period from September through December. The retailer may stock books every now and then during the rest of the year, but they won't be consistently available, the executives said.

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One of the main reasons Costco will stop selling books is that they require too much work to stock. To avoid using critical time and labor to restock them on shelves, Costco usually sells products directly off the shipping pallets. However, Costco workers are required to organize and lay out books by hand as new reads arrive at the retailer constantly.

According to The Times, Costco receives new shipments of books every Tuesday. Meanwhile, any that haven't been sold need to be returned, resulting in even more labor for employees.

Costco book section
ZikG / Shutterstock

Costco has already stopped stocking books in several of its markets, such as Alaska and Hawaii. While Costco may benefit from its shift away from selling books, the upcoming change isn't a positive one for publishers. Costco tends to order tens or even hundreds of thousands of copies of the books it stocks, and publishers are now set to lose out on those massive sales, per the Times.

The change will also impact Costco's customers, many of whom were far from happy to hear about the development.

"That's a shame. The book section is always my first stop, yes even before the vino. I've bought many a book there cause they seem to always have something that appealed to me," one shopper lamented on Reddit in response to the news.

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"This makes me super sad. They always have great books," another wrote.

Costco did not immediately respond to our queries for confirmation and comment on the change.

The shift away from book sales is only one of the major developments taking place at Costco right now. The retailer has also been expanding its fresh sushi counters, swapping its rotisserie chicken containers for plastic bags, debuting new food court options, and even testing new membership card scanners at the entrance of its flagship Issaquah, Wash., warehouse.

Zoe Strozewski
Zoe Strozewski is a News Writer for Eat This, Not That! A Chicago native who now lives in New Jersey, she graduated from Kean University in 2020 with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. Read more about Zoe
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