Costco May Be Canceling This Major Program It's Been Testing
In the early days of the pandemic, every new grocery shopping rule that went into effect got its own big announcement. After all, it was important that Americans were well aware of the safest ways to shop. Now, some of these rules are starting to disappear, albeit with significantly less fanfare.
Grocery stores are focusing on the post-pandemic experience, and they know vaccinated shoppers are eager to leave their homes after a year of lockdowns. For Walmart, that means putting lots of items on sale. At Costco, things may be changing in an entirely different way. (For information on what you shouldn't get on your next warehouse run, check out the Popular Costco Foods That Are Making You Gain Weight, Say Dietitians.)
Pandemic era rules are quietly disappearing at Costco.
Rumors began to swirl online in June that Costco was planning to discontinue special operating hours for those members over 60 years old, those with disabilities, and those who were immunocompromised. Reddit user @Downtown-Dance8132 shared a photograph of a sign with the official Costco logo that said special operating hours would no longer be offered as of on July 26.
It wasn't until a few weeks later that the warehouse chain officially confirmed the rumors via an update to its Updates and Coronavirus Response page.
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There's speculation that Costco is about to end another pandemic-era initiative.
Another Reddit user, @nubbles_7, took to the site to share a photograph of a letter that says curbside pickup will end on July 31. It is attributed, though not signed in writing, to a Costco district vice president.
The initiative kicked off at three warehouses in New Mexico in January 2021. Other grocery stores had added or stepped up their curbside pickup game much earlier in 2020 when lines were long, shelves were empty, and some shoppers didn't want to enter stores.
Initially, CFO Richard Galanti said the pilot was going "well," and basket sizes had "actually surpassed our expectations." But only a few months later, his tune seemingly changed. "The utilization has not set the world on fire in terms of where it's trending," he said.
The letter dated June 30 reiterates Galanti's comments, saying "member demand for curbside service at Costco has continued to decrease each month since the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic." It goes on to say that "after careful evaluation, we have made the decision to discontinue curbside pickup effective the close of business on Saturday, July 31."
Here's what Costco is saying about the mysterious letter:
Eat This, Not That! reached out to Costco to determine the authenticity of the letter, but the warehouse chain declined to comment. The website for the service remains up and running as of July 8.
If the letter is authentic, it would seem as though there won't be a nationwide rollout for curbside service.
There are still multiple different ways to shop at Costco.
Instead of moving forward with curbside pickup, Costco is focusing on other more successful alternatives. That includes the company's same-day grocery delivery via Instacart and free 2-day delivery on orders of $75 or more.
Check out this reading list for more Costco news: