Big-box bulk clubs are booming these days: Sam's Club reported a whopping $57 billion in total revenue in 2017, and the regionally limited BJ's Wholesale Club is going public. But Costco is the bulk store that just seems to win people's hearts.
We know you (and the rest of our readers) adore Costco and basically want to marry it (or get married there!). Just take this post: A reader shared an experience that caused her to sign up for and cancel her Costco membership in the same day — and so many of you wrote to us to defend Costco indignantly!
What is it about this place? We did a deeper dive through your notes and comments to see what it is that makes you guys love Costco so darn much. There was lots to go through because, well, you guys are a passionate bunch!
Here's what we've distilled from your comments and letters. Take a look and then weigh in with your own thoughts.
1. Costco has so many organic options.
"I was astounded at all of the organic choices [Costco] carried!" one reader told us, remembering her first tour of a new-to-town location. Many of you compared the organic options to that of Whole Foods — while, of course, pointing out that the prices are way better.
2. You love how Costco does business.
"Costco is a model of a well-run company that respects its employees and maintains a sane balance between the salaries of workers and the benefits accorded to C-level execs," another reader says.
3. Costco's bulk packages are just the right size.
Many readers have told us that the bulk packages are larger at Costco than they are at Sam's Club. So while the packages are big, many of you say they're not too big. Of course, this one really depends on how you cook and shop.
4. You love the Kirkland private-label brand.
All three of these warehouse stores have a private-label brand, but Costco's Kirkland brand seems to have more of a cult-like following. "I find that in general, Kirkland is really top-drawer stuff — high quality, fresh, and tasty," says a reader.
More on Private Label Brands
5. The food court has a sizable menu with good (inexpensive!) menu items.
BJ's recently began replacing many of its in-store food courts with Dunkin' Donuts kiosks. Sam's has a food court that's very similar to Costco's (with pizza and hot dogs) but Costco's food court also offers Chicken Bakes (stromboli-like things), specialty sandwiches, and more.
More on Costco's food court
What do you think? Which warehouse store is your favorite? Vote for your choice — and tell us why! — in the comments below!