Costco, the bulk retailer, is set to tighten its policy on the sharing of membership cards. Customers will now be required to show photo identification along with their Costco membership card during the self-checkout process. This is in response to a perceived issue where non-members are receiving the same benefits and pricing as members.
A spokesperson for Costco stated that “We don’t feel it’s right that non-members receive the same benefits and pricing as our members”.
Although an analyst has suggested that Costco has room for a fee hike, the company indicated on its last earnings call that it was likely to hold off on such an increase.
Grocery prices are still going up, but Costco membership fees aren’t — for now
Costco Considers Increasing Membership Fees
Costco is considering raising its membership fees, according to its Chief Financial Officer Richard Galanti. However, he also suggested that the company has enough tools to drive business and that increasing fees would not necessarily negatively impact renewal or signup rates. Currently, Costco offers Gold Star and Business memberships for $60 annually, as well as an Executive membership option with more benefits priced at $120.
This move by Costco follows in the footsteps of Netflix, which recently cracked down on account sharing to bolster profits. Initial data points indicate that Netflix’s initiative has been successful.
Netflix: A ‘Once-in-a-Lifetime Opportunity’ in Sight
Netflix may just be seeing a significant window of opportunity opening up. As the world navigates through the COVID-19 pandemic, the global streaming giant is certainly riding high above most industries.
Streaming services have soared during the lockdowns, as people stuck at home have found themselves gravitating towards online entertainment. With production on hold, studios and networks are having to re-strategize and rethink their models, but streaming platforms like Netflix are able to double down on their existing catalogues.
Only time will tell if Netflix can capitalize on this once-in-a-lifetime chance, but for now, it seems the streaming giant is only getting bigger and stronger.