Skip to content

Here's Why Angry Shoppers Are Boycotting Costco

A new policy designed to protect shoppers and staff has some up in arms.

Some vocal members of Costco are taking issue with the wholesale club's recent policy requiring all shoppers to wear masks amid the coronavirus outbreak. It's not clear how widespread this movement is, but the protest appears to be evolving into something of a boycott for some who feel that the safety measure infringes upon their civil liberties. Costco is a private company, however, and is legally justified in setting its own policies, especially those designed to protect the health of its own staff.

Costco is among many national retailers who have taken aggressive steps designed to protect the safety of shoppers and workers alike during the COVID-19 pandemic. Starting on Monday of this week, shoppers at Costco will be required to wear protective masks. The new policy came in a statement published on a webpage dedicated to COVID-19 updates. It notes that "all Costco members and guests must wear a mask or face covering that covers the mouth and nose at all times while at Costco."

Related: 9 Worst Grocery Store Chains to Shop at During the Pandemic

Though the wearing of a mask is less designed to protect the individual and more to abate the spread and protect those around the mask-wearer, some are still very much aggrieved.  So much so, that the hashtag #boycottcostco has emerged.

Here are just a handful of tweets:

More on Coronavirus

  • Young woman feeling sick and holding her chest in pain at home.

    15 Scary After Effects of Coronavirus Everyone Should Know

  • subway neon open sign

    The 5 Changes You'll See After Subway Reopens

    How the sandwich chain will keep your food safe.
  • Brio tuscan grille restaurant

    6 Restaurants Going Bankrupt Due to COVID-19

    These restaurants couldn't survive the shutdown.
  • Man iPad

    Cooking Food This Way Could Increase Your Coronavirus Risk

    Put the spatula down.
  • restaurant interior

    The COVID Bouncer Is Officially a Thing

    Expect to see one of these in restaurants near you.

Costco CEO Craig Jelinek seemed to predict the backlash in a public message posted on the company's website, writing, "We know some members may find this inconvenient or objectionable, but under the circumstances, we believe the added safety is worth any inconvenience."

To be fair, there appear to be many individuals on social media that are reasonably defending Costco's decision to responsibly protect the health staff and shoppers alike. To wit:


Related: Safety Steps You Must Take When Getting Home from the Grocery Store

Dozens of grocery store clerks have died as a result of the coronavirus as the close proximity required to serve a large number of shoppers appears to have a very negative affect in the viral overload that seems consistent with those who fall ill from the deadly contagion.

Walmart received similar pushback from shoppers aggrieved by their new one-way shopping policy, though that led to people just ignoring the policy and not protesting.

Eat This, Not That! is constantly monitoring the latest food news as it relates to COVID-19 in order to keep you healthy, safe, and informed (and answer your most urgent questions). Here are the precautions you should be taking at the grocery store, the foods you should have on hand, the meal delivery services and restaurant chains offering takeout you need to know about, and ways you can help support those in need. We will continue to update these as new information develops. Click here for all of our COVID-19 coverage, and sign up for our newsletter to stay up-to-date.

She Lost 100 Pounds—And Shows You How!

Registered Dietitian and Nutritionist Ilana Muhlstein lost her weight and kept it off—and in You Can Drop It!, she'll show you how to lose it, too. More than 240,000 clients have chosen her program—and now it’s yours to keep.

Filed Under