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20 Things You Didn’t Know About Costco Gallery

20 Things You Didn’t Know About Costco Gallery

This big box store is an amusement park of excess

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If there’s one word that most accurately describes Costco, it’s big. Its stores are big; its products are big; it’s the second-biggest retailer in the world (after Walmart); and it sells more prime and choice beef, rotisserie chicken, organic foods, and wine than any other retailer. So yeah, it’s big. But even if you’re an Executive Member who knows exactly what time to arrive for that rotisserie-roasted fowl, we bet that there’s still a lot you didn’t know about this big-box chain.

20 Things You Didn’t Know About Costco

Dreamstime

If there’s one word that most accurately describes Costco, it’s big. But even if you’re an Executive Member who knows exactly what time to arrive for that rotisserie-roasted fowl, we bet that there’s still a lot you didn’t know about this big-box chain.

It Started Inside Howard Hughes’ Airplane Hangar

It Originally Sold Only Boxed Items Directly From Palettes

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Walking into the earliest Costcos really was like walking into a warehouse, as nearly every item was still inside its box, on a palette.

Membership Grew by 5 Million in the Past Year

Dzlanis Hill/istockphoto.com

Membership was at 85 million in 2016, and by 2017 it had increased to 90.3 million.

It’s One of America’s Largest Pizza Chains

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Costco has around 400 locations in the United States, and with all but a few selling pizza, this officially makes it the 15th largest pizza chain in America in terms of number of units, with more locations than such chains as California Pizza Kitchen, Fox’s Pizza Den, and Jet’s Pizza.

A Typical Store Sells Only 4,000 Different Products

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Products come and go quite quickly, and a typical Costco sells a relatively small number of products — usually around 4,000, about the same number sold at most Trader Joe’s locations. In comparison, Walmart Supercenters stock about 140,000 products.

It Utilizes Some Creative Cost-Cutting Measures

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You’ve probably noticed that Costcos have some idiosyncrasies, and they’re primarily the result of trying to save as much money as possible, in order to keep prices low. For example, there aren’t any shopping bags so old merchandise boxes are used to pack up purchased items, and skylights allow for lights to be turned off on sunny days.

Membership Has Some Surprising Perks

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An Executive Membership ($120/year, as opposed to $60 for a regular one) will get you a lot more than just access to the store; Executive members can also receive home loans, check printing services, car insurance, and travel benefits.

There Are Several Things You Can Buy Without a Subscription

If the food court is outdoors, you don’t need a membership in order to buy food there. Some states also require that the pharmacy and optician be open to the general public, not just members.

The Pizzas Take Less Than a Minute to Prep

Those pizzas are marvels of technology: First, balls of dough are lightly hand-stretched and run through a sheeter. Then, they’re spread out on a tray and docked for even cooking. The trays are then placed onto a machine that evenly applies sauce, cheese is added, and finally they’re baked. You can watch the whole process here.

The Price of a Hot Dog-Soda Combo Hasn’t Increased in More than 30 Years

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You will rarely, if ever, notice a change in the prices at the Costco food court. Pizzas cost $1.99 per slice and $9.99 per pie, chicken bakes cost $2.99, and a hot dog and soda combo will always cost $1.50. In fact, the company switched from Coke to Pepsi fountain drinks in 2013 because Coca-Cola raised its prices.

They Make Their Own Hot Dogs to Keep Menu Prices Down

Costco sells about 100 million hot dogs annually, which is four times more than what’s sold at Major League baseball ballparks all season. The low price is one of the reasons why so many sell, and the chain does everything in its power to keep the prices down. In 2013, they switched to selling all Pepsi products after Coca-Cola increased their prices, and in 2009, they switched from Hebrew National to Kirkland Signature (its private label brand) in order to avoid raising prices as well.

The Bacon is a Must-Buy

Not only did Consumer Reports find that the bacon sold under Costco’s store brand, Kirkland Signature, tastes better than most other brands, it’s also about $1.50 cheaper per pound than the competition.

Top Shelf Booze is A Lot Cheaper There than at the Liquor Store

Top-shelf booze is usually a lot cheaper at Costco than the liquor store, and in some states you don’t even need a membership to purchase it.

The Rotisserie Chicken is the Cheapest You’ll Find Anywhere

The three-pound (minimum) rotisserie chicken at Costco is always $4.99 across the board, which makes it the cheapest you’ll find anywhere. The closest competitor, Wal-Mart, sells theirs for a dollar more, and the chickens they use are smaller! Costco would rake in 30 to 40 million more dollars annually if they raised the price by a buck, but they’re sticking with it, and we’re grateful for that.

Kirkland Signature is Named After its Former Headquarters’ Location

jfmdesign/istockphoto.com

From 1987 to 1998, Costco’s headquarters was located in Kirkland, Washington, a Seattle suburb. Hence the name!

It Has Published a Free Monthly Magazine Since 1987

The Costco Connection is a publication that’s available for free to members, and is also available online. Believe it or not, the paper edition is the largest-circulation print monthly in the United States!

It Offers a Free “Concierge” Service to People Who Purchase Electronics

Photo 44268625 © Mihai Andritoiu - Dreamstime.com

If you buy an expensive electronic product from Costco and can’t figure out how to actually make it work, just give them a call and they’ll help you out.

It Recently Launched Same-Day Grocery Delivery

krblokhin/istockphoto.com

In October, Costco launched a service called CostcoGrocery, in which two-day delivery will be available for many non-refrigerated foods, with free delivery on orders over $75. They’re also partnered with InstaCart for same-day delivery of fresh food, with free delivery of orders over $35, plus a 10 percent service fee.

Employees’ Hourly Pay and Health Insurance Coverage is Better than the Competition

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Costco is well-known for paying its employees well; non-supervisory hourly wages can be as high as $21, and 85 percent of employees have health insurance, as opposed to less than 50 percent at Target and Walmart.

The Free Sample Folks Don’t Work For Costco

Those magical people who stand at the end of Costco aisles, gently prodding you to sample some free food? Those folks (called “product demonstration employees”) don’t actually work for Costco; they’re primarily employed by companies named Warehouse Demo Services and Club Demonstration Services, and they’re usually paid less than Costco employees. Sad face.

Looking to stretch your food dollar at big-box stores? Here’s how!


11 Things You Didn't Know About Costco

Often much less maligned than its retail warehouse counterparts, Costco has developed a sort of cult following among thrifty shoppers and supporters of workers' rights alike. But if you're one of these wholesale superfans, how much do you truly know about the company?

You may have heard that the first Costco warehouse opened in Seattle and that their Kirkland brand was originally supposed to be "Seattle Signature." Perhaps you're also aware that the company spends no money on advertisements, instead hoping programs like their "treasure hunts," which feature steep but limited-time discounts on luxury -- and occasionally outlandish -- items, will keep customers coming back. But if you're a true die-hard fan of the shopping mecca, you'll need to read on for the true treasures.

Time to earn that Gold Star!


Image: Instagram account @ambermarielove3

1. Costco is actually one of America's largest pizza chains.

Although Costco's current CEO, Craig Jelinek, claims he never touches the pizza, the super large and cheesy slices have become an American cult favorite. Nobody really considers Costco to be a "pizza chain," but with more than 400 stores in the United States, all but a couple with food courts, it is one the biggest pizza sellers in the country. That's just slightly behind giants such as Chuck E. Cheese and CiCi's, and far more than the roughly 265 locations of California Pizza Kitchen. If you feel like their food court pizza doesn't make Costco a true pizzeria, then maybe their "Pizza Hotline," which allows customers to call in pizza orders ahead, will convince you.

Of course, their food courts are also famous for other items, like the hot dog and soda combo which has kept its price of $1.50 for almost three decades.

Image Left: Twitter account @HallieStufano & Image Right: Twitter account @BrielleZolciak

2. They once offered full barrels of Jack Daniel's whiskey.

Costco regularly rotates their partnerships with alcohol companies so this doesn't appear to be currently available, but there was a time when you could buy an actual "single barrel" of Jack Daniels' whiskey for $8499.99. Sam's Club ended up selling the same thing so this wasn't exactly an exclusive, but the Walmart-owned brand sold the barrel for more than $1100 more than Costco's price. Although the barrel is kind of hard to top, Costco's Kirkland brand has also made interesting alcohol partnerships, such as an official version of luxury scotch The Macallan. What makes these Kirkland partnerships special is that they sell for much cheaper than the brands usually go for themselves.

Other non-alcoholic "treasure" purchases in the past have included wedding dresses and a $1 million engagement ring.

3. Their employee wages and benefits are well above competitors.

Costco has been called the "anti-Walmart" by publications from The New York Times to Gawker, and this is largely because of the way Costco compensates its employees.

From Bloomberg Businessweek's 2013 profile of the company:

Despite the sagging economy and challenges to the industry, Costco pays its hourly workers an average of $20.89 an hour, not including overtime (vs. the minimum wage of $7.25 an hour). By comparison, Walmart said its average wage for full-time employees in the U.S. is $12.67 an hour, according to a letter it sent in April to activist Ralph Nader. Eighty-eight percent of Costco employees have company-sponsored health insurance Walmart says that “more than half” of its do. Costco workers with coverage pay premiums that amount to less than 10 percent of the overall cost of their plans. It treats its employees well in the belief that a happier work environment will result in a more profitable company. “I just think people need to make a living wage with health benefits,” says Jelinek. “It also puts more money back into the economy and creates a healthier country. It’s really that simple."

This treatment of employees has often upset Wall Street. As one analyst from Deutsche Bank wonderfully summed up, "it's better to be an employee or a customer than a shareholder."

4. That said, some workers you see at Costco receive low pay and no benefits.

Costco works through contracting companies like Club Demonstration Services for help with certain store functions. These companies often don't offer benefits and pay much lower wages than Costco. This appears to mostly involve the workers who hand out the much sought after free samples.

Reports have said people from these third-party contractors count for up to 10 percent of in-store Costco workers, though this number is unconfirmed. CDS did not respond to a request for comment.

5. Costco's founder was literally mentored by someone named Mr. Price.

Sol Price, the founder of FedMart.

Founder Jim Sinegal was once served as executive vice president for merchandising at one of the original wholesale retailers, FedMart, and became the protégé of its chairman, Sol Price.

Although not quite as directly, Price's business was the inspiration for Walmart as well. Walmart founder Sam Walton wrote in his book "Made In America" that he named his company Walmart because of the "mart" in FedMart.

Price apparently often told a joke about other retail executives meeting him and saying, “Sol, you are the father of everything we have inherited.” To which Price replied, “I really wish I had worn a condom.”

Mr. Price started FedMart in San Diego during the early 1950s and would also end up creating another warehouse store called Price Club in 1976, which Costco would eventually buy.

6. You can buy "doomsday supplies" and caskets at Costco.

If you're feeling particularly morbid about society's future, you can always go to Costco's Emergency Kits & Supplies page to order things like the "Emergency Cube," which provides over 30,000 servings of food with a shelf life of 25 years. That'll only set you back $4000!

Costco also has a pretty good selection of coffins that can even be ordered online.

7. Bibles at the store were labeled as "fiction" for a brief time.

In late 2013, Costco accidentally labeled a "small percentage" of its Bibles as "fiction," which set off an uproar. The company quickly apologized, blaming their distributors for mislabeling the books.

The company has also sold a book called "The Brick Bible." It's like the Bible, but with Legos . and some mildly NSFW images like this. Sam's Club banned it, but you could still find it at Costco.

8. The apple pie from "American Pie" was reportedly bought at a Costco.

According to IMDb, the apple pie from iconic '90s movie "American Pie" was purchased at Costco. For those who don't remember, the scene features actor Jason Biggs violating an apple pie, only to have his father walk in and catch him in the act.

9. Costco often doesn't always get along with big name brands, including Tiffany & Co. and Apple.

Costco has had a history of conflict with some famous brands. A shortlist:

Tiffany & Company: In February of 2013, the jewelry company filed a multimillion-dollar lawsuit because Costco was selling rings labeled "Tiffany engagement rings," despite the jewelry not being authentic.

Apple: Costco stopped carrying Apple products in 2010, after only being allowed to sell the iPod in stores and being barred from selling any Apple products online. An ongoing animosity seems to exist between the companies.

Coca-Cola: After Coca-Cola failed to give Costco the price they wanted, the retailer took all of the soda off their shelves in 2009. This lasted about a month, until Costco felt they had won the negotiation battle. In 2013, Costco pulled Coca-Cola from their food courts and replaced it with Pepsi after a similar price disagreement.

Starbucks: Starbucks once failed to pass along savings to Costco after a price cut in coffee beans, which led the warehouse to threaten to pull all of their coffee products from their stores. Starbucks chairman Howard Schultz reportedly called Costco owner Jim Sinegal and asked, "Who do you think you are? The price police?" Sinegal answered, "yes."

10. The company refrains from hiring business school graduates.

Costco makes an attempt to hire managerial and higher-level positions from within the company. Some people who started working on the floor have even been subsidized by the company to get their graduate degrees. In an aim to keep a consistent employee culture, Costco actually doesn't hire business school graduates, according to the Bloomberg Businessweek profile from 2013.

11. Costco is the largest importer of high-end French wines.

Costco employs lead wine buyer Annette Alvarez-Peters, who is considered one of the most powerful wine buyers in the world and oversees the retailer's massive wine business. According to a 2012 report by CNBC, "Costco is the world's largest importer of high-end French wines."

Much like the liquors mentioned above, the Kirkland wines are usually just less-expensive versions of other well-respected wines.


11 Things You Didn't Know About Costco

Often much less maligned than its retail warehouse counterparts, Costco has developed a sort of cult following among thrifty shoppers and supporters of workers' rights alike. But if you're one of these wholesale superfans, how much do you truly know about the company?

You may have heard that the first Costco warehouse opened in Seattle and that their Kirkland brand was originally supposed to be "Seattle Signature." Perhaps you're also aware that the company spends no money on advertisements, instead hoping programs like their "treasure hunts," which feature steep but limited-time discounts on luxury -- and occasionally outlandish -- items, will keep customers coming back. But if you're a true die-hard fan of the shopping mecca, you'll need to read on for the true treasures.

Time to earn that Gold Star!


Image: Instagram account @ambermarielove3

1. Costco is actually one of America's largest pizza chains.

Although Costco's current CEO, Craig Jelinek, claims he never touches the pizza, the super large and cheesy slices have become an American cult favorite. Nobody really considers Costco to be a "pizza chain," but with more than 400 stores in the United States, all but a couple with food courts, it is one the biggest pizza sellers in the country. That's just slightly behind giants such as Chuck E. Cheese and CiCi's, and far more than the roughly 265 locations of California Pizza Kitchen. If you feel like their food court pizza doesn't make Costco a true pizzeria, then maybe their "Pizza Hotline," which allows customers to call in pizza orders ahead, will convince you.

Of course, their food courts are also famous for other items, like the hot dog and soda combo which has kept its price of $1.50 for almost three decades.

Image Left: Twitter account @HallieStufano & Image Right: Twitter account @BrielleZolciak

2. They once offered full barrels of Jack Daniel's whiskey.

Costco regularly rotates their partnerships with alcohol companies so this doesn't appear to be currently available, but there was a time when you could buy an actual "single barrel" of Jack Daniels' whiskey for $8499.99. Sam's Club ended up selling the same thing so this wasn't exactly an exclusive, but the Walmart-owned brand sold the barrel for more than $1100 more than Costco's price. Although the barrel is kind of hard to top, Costco's Kirkland brand has also made interesting alcohol partnerships, such as an official version of luxury scotch The Macallan. What makes these Kirkland partnerships special is that they sell for much cheaper than the brands usually go for themselves.

Other non-alcoholic "treasure" purchases in the past have included wedding dresses and a $1 million engagement ring.

3. Their employee wages and benefits are well above competitors.

Costco has been called the "anti-Walmart" by publications from The New York Times to Gawker, and this is largely because of the way Costco compensates its employees.

From Bloomberg Businessweek's 2013 profile of the company:

Despite the sagging economy and challenges to the industry, Costco pays its hourly workers an average of $20.89 an hour, not including overtime (vs. the minimum wage of $7.25 an hour). By comparison, Walmart said its average wage for full-time employees in the U.S. is $12.67 an hour, according to a letter it sent in April to activist Ralph Nader. Eighty-eight percent of Costco employees have company-sponsored health insurance Walmart says that “more than half” of its do. Costco workers with coverage pay premiums that amount to less than 10 percent of the overall cost of their plans. It treats its employees well in the belief that a happier work environment will result in a more profitable company. “I just think people need to make a living wage with health benefits,” says Jelinek. “It also puts more money back into the economy and creates a healthier country. It’s really that simple."

This treatment of employees has often upset Wall Street. As one analyst from Deutsche Bank wonderfully summed up, "it's better to be an employee or a customer than a shareholder."

4. That said, some workers you see at Costco receive low pay and no benefits.

Costco works through contracting companies like Club Demonstration Services for help with certain store functions. These companies often don't offer benefits and pay much lower wages than Costco. This appears to mostly involve the workers who hand out the much sought after free samples.

Reports have said people from these third-party contractors count for up to 10 percent of in-store Costco workers, though this number is unconfirmed. CDS did not respond to a request for comment.

5. Costco's founder was literally mentored by someone named Mr. Price.

Sol Price, the founder of FedMart.

Founder Jim Sinegal was once served as executive vice president for merchandising at one of the original wholesale retailers, FedMart, and became the protégé of its chairman, Sol Price.

Although not quite as directly, Price's business was the inspiration for Walmart as well. Walmart founder Sam Walton wrote in his book "Made In America" that he named his company Walmart because of the "mart" in FedMart.

Price apparently often told a joke about other retail executives meeting him and saying, “Sol, you are the father of everything we have inherited.” To which Price replied, “I really wish I had worn a condom.”

Mr. Price started FedMart in San Diego during the early 1950s and would also end up creating another warehouse store called Price Club in 1976, which Costco would eventually buy.

6. You can buy "doomsday supplies" and caskets at Costco.

If you're feeling particularly morbid about society's future, you can always go to Costco's Emergency Kits & Supplies page to order things like the "Emergency Cube," which provides over 30,000 servings of food with a shelf life of 25 years. That'll only set you back $4000!

Costco also has a pretty good selection of coffins that can even be ordered online.

7. Bibles at the store were labeled as "fiction" for a brief time.

In late 2013, Costco accidentally labeled a "small percentage" of its Bibles as "fiction," which set off an uproar. The company quickly apologized, blaming their distributors for mislabeling the books.

The company has also sold a book called "The Brick Bible." It's like the Bible, but with Legos . and some mildly NSFW images like this. Sam's Club banned it, but you could still find it at Costco.

8. The apple pie from "American Pie" was reportedly bought at a Costco.

According to IMDb, the apple pie from iconic '90s movie "American Pie" was purchased at Costco. For those who don't remember, the scene features actor Jason Biggs violating an apple pie, only to have his father walk in and catch him in the act.

9. Costco often doesn't always get along with big name brands, including Tiffany & Co. and Apple.

Costco has had a history of conflict with some famous brands. A shortlist:

Tiffany & Company: In February of 2013, the jewelry company filed a multimillion-dollar lawsuit because Costco was selling rings labeled "Tiffany engagement rings," despite the jewelry not being authentic.

Apple: Costco stopped carrying Apple products in 2010, after only being allowed to sell the iPod in stores and being barred from selling any Apple products online. An ongoing animosity seems to exist between the companies.

Coca-Cola: After Coca-Cola failed to give Costco the price they wanted, the retailer took all of the soda off their shelves in 2009. This lasted about a month, until Costco felt they had won the negotiation battle. In 2013, Costco pulled Coca-Cola from their food courts and replaced it with Pepsi after a similar price disagreement.

Starbucks: Starbucks once failed to pass along savings to Costco after a price cut in coffee beans, which led the warehouse to threaten to pull all of their coffee products from their stores. Starbucks chairman Howard Schultz reportedly called Costco owner Jim Sinegal and asked, "Who do you think you are? The price police?" Sinegal answered, "yes."

10. The company refrains from hiring business school graduates.

Costco makes an attempt to hire managerial and higher-level positions from within the company. Some people who started working on the floor have even been subsidized by the company to get their graduate degrees. In an aim to keep a consistent employee culture, Costco actually doesn't hire business school graduates, according to the Bloomberg Businessweek profile from 2013.

11. Costco is the largest importer of high-end French wines.

Costco employs lead wine buyer Annette Alvarez-Peters, who is considered one of the most powerful wine buyers in the world and oversees the retailer's massive wine business. According to a 2012 report by CNBC, "Costco is the world's largest importer of high-end French wines."

Much like the liquors mentioned above, the Kirkland wines are usually just less-expensive versions of other well-respected wines.


11 Things You Didn't Know About Costco

Often much less maligned than its retail warehouse counterparts, Costco has developed a sort of cult following among thrifty shoppers and supporters of workers' rights alike. But if you're one of these wholesale superfans, how much do you truly know about the company?

You may have heard that the first Costco warehouse opened in Seattle and that their Kirkland brand was originally supposed to be "Seattle Signature." Perhaps you're also aware that the company spends no money on advertisements, instead hoping programs like their "treasure hunts," which feature steep but limited-time discounts on luxury -- and occasionally outlandish -- items, will keep customers coming back. But if you're a true die-hard fan of the shopping mecca, you'll need to read on for the true treasures.

Time to earn that Gold Star!


Image: Instagram account @ambermarielove3

1. Costco is actually one of America's largest pizza chains.

Although Costco's current CEO, Craig Jelinek, claims he never touches the pizza, the super large and cheesy slices have become an American cult favorite. Nobody really considers Costco to be a "pizza chain," but with more than 400 stores in the United States, all but a couple with food courts, it is one the biggest pizza sellers in the country. That's just slightly behind giants such as Chuck E. Cheese and CiCi's, and far more than the roughly 265 locations of California Pizza Kitchen. If you feel like their food court pizza doesn't make Costco a true pizzeria, then maybe their "Pizza Hotline," which allows customers to call in pizza orders ahead, will convince you.

Of course, their food courts are also famous for other items, like the hot dog and soda combo which has kept its price of $1.50 for almost three decades.

Image Left: Twitter account @HallieStufano & Image Right: Twitter account @BrielleZolciak

2. They once offered full barrels of Jack Daniel's whiskey.

Costco regularly rotates their partnerships with alcohol companies so this doesn't appear to be currently available, but there was a time when you could buy an actual "single barrel" of Jack Daniels' whiskey for $8499.99. Sam's Club ended up selling the same thing so this wasn't exactly an exclusive, but the Walmart-owned brand sold the barrel for more than $1100 more than Costco's price. Although the barrel is kind of hard to top, Costco's Kirkland brand has also made interesting alcohol partnerships, such as an official version of luxury scotch The Macallan. What makes these Kirkland partnerships special is that they sell for much cheaper than the brands usually go for themselves.

Other non-alcoholic "treasure" purchases in the past have included wedding dresses and a $1 million engagement ring.

3. Their employee wages and benefits are well above competitors.

Costco has been called the "anti-Walmart" by publications from The New York Times to Gawker, and this is largely because of the way Costco compensates its employees.

From Bloomberg Businessweek's 2013 profile of the company:

Despite the sagging economy and challenges to the industry, Costco pays its hourly workers an average of $20.89 an hour, not including overtime (vs. the minimum wage of $7.25 an hour). By comparison, Walmart said its average wage for full-time employees in the U.S. is $12.67 an hour, according to a letter it sent in April to activist Ralph Nader. Eighty-eight percent of Costco employees have company-sponsored health insurance Walmart says that “more than half” of its do. Costco workers with coverage pay premiums that amount to less than 10 percent of the overall cost of their plans. It treats its employees well in the belief that a happier work environment will result in a more profitable company. “I just think people need to make a living wage with health benefits,” says Jelinek. “It also puts more money back into the economy and creates a healthier country. It’s really that simple."

This treatment of employees has often upset Wall Street. As one analyst from Deutsche Bank wonderfully summed up, "it's better to be an employee or a customer than a shareholder."

4. That said, some workers you see at Costco receive low pay and no benefits.

Costco works through contracting companies like Club Demonstration Services for help with certain store functions. These companies often don't offer benefits and pay much lower wages than Costco. This appears to mostly involve the workers who hand out the much sought after free samples.

Reports have said people from these third-party contractors count for up to 10 percent of in-store Costco workers, though this number is unconfirmed. CDS did not respond to a request for comment.

5. Costco's founder was literally mentored by someone named Mr. Price.

Sol Price, the founder of FedMart.

Founder Jim Sinegal was once served as executive vice president for merchandising at one of the original wholesale retailers, FedMart, and became the protégé of its chairman, Sol Price.

Although not quite as directly, Price's business was the inspiration for Walmart as well. Walmart founder Sam Walton wrote in his book "Made In America" that he named his company Walmart because of the "mart" in FedMart.

Price apparently often told a joke about other retail executives meeting him and saying, “Sol, you are the father of everything we have inherited.” To which Price replied, “I really wish I had worn a condom.”

Mr. Price started FedMart in San Diego during the early 1950s and would also end up creating another warehouse store called Price Club in 1976, which Costco would eventually buy.

6. You can buy "doomsday supplies" and caskets at Costco.

If you're feeling particularly morbid about society's future, you can always go to Costco's Emergency Kits & Supplies page to order things like the "Emergency Cube," which provides over 30,000 servings of food with a shelf life of 25 years. That'll only set you back $4000!

Costco also has a pretty good selection of coffins that can even be ordered online.

7. Bibles at the store were labeled as "fiction" for a brief time.

In late 2013, Costco accidentally labeled a "small percentage" of its Bibles as "fiction," which set off an uproar. The company quickly apologized, blaming their distributors for mislabeling the books.

The company has also sold a book called "The Brick Bible." It's like the Bible, but with Legos . and some mildly NSFW images like this. Sam's Club banned it, but you could still find it at Costco.

8. The apple pie from "American Pie" was reportedly bought at a Costco.

According to IMDb, the apple pie from iconic '90s movie "American Pie" was purchased at Costco. For those who don't remember, the scene features actor Jason Biggs violating an apple pie, only to have his father walk in and catch him in the act.

9. Costco often doesn't always get along with big name brands, including Tiffany & Co. and Apple.

Costco has had a history of conflict with some famous brands. A shortlist:

Tiffany & Company: In February of 2013, the jewelry company filed a multimillion-dollar lawsuit because Costco was selling rings labeled "Tiffany engagement rings," despite the jewelry not being authentic.

Apple: Costco stopped carrying Apple products in 2010, after only being allowed to sell the iPod in stores and being barred from selling any Apple products online. An ongoing animosity seems to exist between the companies.

Coca-Cola: After Coca-Cola failed to give Costco the price they wanted, the retailer took all of the soda off their shelves in 2009. This lasted about a month, until Costco felt they had won the negotiation battle. In 2013, Costco pulled Coca-Cola from their food courts and replaced it with Pepsi after a similar price disagreement.

Starbucks: Starbucks once failed to pass along savings to Costco after a price cut in coffee beans, which led the warehouse to threaten to pull all of their coffee products from their stores. Starbucks chairman Howard Schultz reportedly called Costco owner Jim Sinegal and asked, "Who do you think you are? The price police?" Sinegal answered, "yes."

10. The company refrains from hiring business school graduates.

Costco makes an attempt to hire managerial and higher-level positions from within the company. Some people who started working on the floor have even been subsidized by the company to get their graduate degrees. In an aim to keep a consistent employee culture, Costco actually doesn't hire business school graduates, according to the Bloomberg Businessweek profile from 2013.

11. Costco is the largest importer of high-end French wines.

Costco employs lead wine buyer Annette Alvarez-Peters, who is considered one of the most powerful wine buyers in the world and oversees the retailer's massive wine business. According to a 2012 report by CNBC, "Costco is the world's largest importer of high-end French wines."

Much like the liquors mentioned above, the Kirkland wines are usually just less-expensive versions of other well-respected wines.


11 Things You Didn't Know About Costco

Often much less maligned than its retail warehouse counterparts, Costco has developed a sort of cult following among thrifty shoppers and supporters of workers' rights alike. But if you're one of these wholesale superfans, how much do you truly know about the company?

You may have heard that the first Costco warehouse opened in Seattle and that their Kirkland brand was originally supposed to be "Seattle Signature." Perhaps you're also aware that the company spends no money on advertisements, instead hoping programs like their "treasure hunts," which feature steep but limited-time discounts on luxury -- and occasionally outlandish -- items, will keep customers coming back. But if you're a true die-hard fan of the shopping mecca, you'll need to read on for the true treasures.

Time to earn that Gold Star!


Image: Instagram account @ambermarielove3

1. Costco is actually one of America's largest pizza chains.

Although Costco's current CEO, Craig Jelinek, claims he never touches the pizza, the super large and cheesy slices have become an American cult favorite. Nobody really considers Costco to be a "pizza chain," but with more than 400 stores in the United States, all but a couple with food courts, it is one the biggest pizza sellers in the country. That's just slightly behind giants such as Chuck E. Cheese and CiCi's, and far more than the roughly 265 locations of California Pizza Kitchen. If you feel like their food court pizza doesn't make Costco a true pizzeria, then maybe their "Pizza Hotline," which allows customers to call in pizza orders ahead, will convince you.

Of course, their food courts are also famous for other items, like the hot dog and soda combo which has kept its price of $1.50 for almost three decades.

Image Left: Twitter account @HallieStufano & Image Right: Twitter account @BrielleZolciak

2. They once offered full barrels of Jack Daniel's whiskey.

Costco regularly rotates their partnerships with alcohol companies so this doesn't appear to be currently available, but there was a time when you could buy an actual "single barrel" of Jack Daniels' whiskey for $8499.99. Sam's Club ended up selling the same thing so this wasn't exactly an exclusive, but the Walmart-owned brand sold the barrel for more than $1100 more than Costco's price. Although the barrel is kind of hard to top, Costco's Kirkland brand has also made interesting alcohol partnerships, such as an official version of luxury scotch The Macallan. What makes these Kirkland partnerships special is that they sell for much cheaper than the brands usually go for themselves.

Other non-alcoholic "treasure" purchases in the past have included wedding dresses and a $1 million engagement ring.

3. Their employee wages and benefits are well above competitors.

Costco has been called the "anti-Walmart" by publications from The New York Times to Gawker, and this is largely because of the way Costco compensates its employees.

From Bloomberg Businessweek's 2013 profile of the company:

Despite the sagging economy and challenges to the industry, Costco pays its hourly workers an average of $20.89 an hour, not including overtime (vs. the minimum wage of $7.25 an hour). By comparison, Walmart said its average wage for full-time employees in the U.S. is $12.67 an hour, according to a letter it sent in April to activist Ralph Nader. Eighty-eight percent of Costco employees have company-sponsored health insurance Walmart says that “more than half” of its do. Costco workers with coverage pay premiums that amount to less than 10 percent of the overall cost of their plans. It treats its employees well in the belief that a happier work environment will result in a more profitable company. “I just think people need to make a living wage with health benefits,” says Jelinek. “It also puts more money back into the economy and creates a healthier country. It’s really that simple."

This treatment of employees has often upset Wall Street. As one analyst from Deutsche Bank wonderfully summed up, "it's better to be an employee or a customer than a shareholder."

4. That said, some workers you see at Costco receive low pay and no benefits.

Costco works through contracting companies like Club Demonstration Services for help with certain store functions. These companies often don't offer benefits and pay much lower wages than Costco. This appears to mostly involve the workers who hand out the much sought after free samples.

Reports have said people from these third-party contractors count for up to 10 percent of in-store Costco workers, though this number is unconfirmed. CDS did not respond to a request for comment.

5. Costco's founder was literally mentored by someone named Mr. Price.

Sol Price, the founder of FedMart.

Founder Jim Sinegal was once served as executive vice president for merchandising at one of the original wholesale retailers, FedMart, and became the protégé of its chairman, Sol Price.

Although not quite as directly, Price's business was the inspiration for Walmart as well. Walmart founder Sam Walton wrote in his book "Made In America" that he named his company Walmart because of the "mart" in FedMart.

Price apparently often told a joke about other retail executives meeting him and saying, “Sol, you are the father of everything we have inherited.” To which Price replied, “I really wish I had worn a condom.”

Mr. Price started FedMart in San Diego during the early 1950s and would also end up creating another warehouse store called Price Club in 1976, which Costco would eventually buy.

6. You can buy "doomsday supplies" and caskets at Costco.

If you're feeling particularly morbid about society's future, you can always go to Costco's Emergency Kits & Supplies page to order things like the "Emergency Cube," which provides over 30,000 servings of food with a shelf life of 25 years. That'll only set you back $4000!

Costco also has a pretty good selection of coffins that can even be ordered online.

7. Bibles at the store were labeled as "fiction" for a brief time.

In late 2013, Costco accidentally labeled a "small percentage" of its Bibles as "fiction," which set off an uproar. The company quickly apologized, blaming their distributors for mislabeling the books.

The company has also sold a book called "The Brick Bible." It's like the Bible, but with Legos . and some mildly NSFW images like this. Sam's Club banned it, but you could still find it at Costco.

8. The apple pie from "American Pie" was reportedly bought at a Costco.

According to IMDb, the apple pie from iconic '90s movie "American Pie" was purchased at Costco. For those who don't remember, the scene features actor Jason Biggs violating an apple pie, only to have his father walk in and catch him in the act.

9. Costco often doesn't always get along with big name brands, including Tiffany & Co. and Apple.

Costco has had a history of conflict with some famous brands. A shortlist:

Tiffany & Company: In February of 2013, the jewelry company filed a multimillion-dollar lawsuit because Costco was selling rings labeled "Tiffany engagement rings," despite the jewelry not being authentic.

Apple: Costco stopped carrying Apple products in 2010, after only being allowed to sell the iPod in stores and being barred from selling any Apple products online. An ongoing animosity seems to exist between the companies.

Coca-Cola: After Coca-Cola failed to give Costco the price they wanted, the retailer took all of the soda off their shelves in 2009. This lasted about a month, until Costco felt they had won the negotiation battle. In 2013, Costco pulled Coca-Cola from their food courts and replaced it with Pepsi after a similar price disagreement.

Starbucks: Starbucks once failed to pass along savings to Costco after a price cut in coffee beans, which led the warehouse to threaten to pull all of their coffee products from their stores. Starbucks chairman Howard Schultz reportedly called Costco owner Jim Sinegal and asked, "Who do you think you are? The price police?" Sinegal answered, "yes."

10. The company refrains from hiring business school graduates.

Costco makes an attempt to hire managerial and higher-level positions from within the company. Some people who started working on the floor have even been subsidized by the company to get their graduate degrees. In an aim to keep a consistent employee culture, Costco actually doesn't hire business school graduates, according to the Bloomberg Businessweek profile from 2013.

11. Costco is the largest importer of high-end French wines.

Costco employs lead wine buyer Annette Alvarez-Peters, who is considered one of the most powerful wine buyers in the world and oversees the retailer's massive wine business. According to a 2012 report by CNBC, "Costco is the world's largest importer of high-end French wines."

Much like the liquors mentioned above, the Kirkland wines are usually just less-expensive versions of other well-respected wines.


11 Things You Didn't Know About Costco

Often much less maligned than its retail warehouse counterparts, Costco has developed a sort of cult following among thrifty shoppers and supporters of workers' rights alike. But if you're one of these wholesale superfans, how much do you truly know about the company?

You may have heard that the first Costco warehouse opened in Seattle and that their Kirkland brand was originally supposed to be "Seattle Signature." Perhaps you're also aware that the company spends no money on advertisements, instead hoping programs like their "treasure hunts," which feature steep but limited-time discounts on luxury -- and occasionally outlandish -- items, will keep customers coming back. But if you're a true die-hard fan of the shopping mecca, you'll need to read on for the true treasures.

Time to earn that Gold Star!


Image: Instagram account @ambermarielove3

1. Costco is actually one of America's largest pizza chains.

Although Costco's current CEO, Craig Jelinek, claims he never touches the pizza, the super large and cheesy slices have become an American cult favorite. Nobody really considers Costco to be a "pizza chain," but with more than 400 stores in the United States, all but a couple with food courts, it is one the biggest pizza sellers in the country. That's just slightly behind giants such as Chuck E. Cheese and CiCi's, and far more than the roughly 265 locations of California Pizza Kitchen. If you feel like their food court pizza doesn't make Costco a true pizzeria, then maybe their "Pizza Hotline," which allows customers to call in pizza orders ahead, will convince you.

Of course, their food courts are also famous for other items, like the hot dog and soda combo which has kept its price of $1.50 for almost three decades.

Image Left: Twitter account @HallieStufano & Image Right: Twitter account @BrielleZolciak

2. They once offered full barrels of Jack Daniel's whiskey.

Costco regularly rotates their partnerships with alcohol companies so this doesn't appear to be currently available, but there was a time when you could buy an actual "single barrel" of Jack Daniels' whiskey for $8499.99. Sam's Club ended up selling the same thing so this wasn't exactly an exclusive, but the Walmart-owned brand sold the barrel for more than $1100 more than Costco's price. Although the barrel is kind of hard to top, Costco's Kirkland brand has also made interesting alcohol partnerships, such as an official version of luxury scotch The Macallan. What makes these Kirkland partnerships special is that they sell for much cheaper than the brands usually go for themselves.

Other non-alcoholic "treasure" purchases in the past have included wedding dresses and a $1 million engagement ring.

3. Their employee wages and benefits are well above competitors.

Costco has been called the "anti-Walmart" by publications from The New York Times to Gawker, and this is largely because of the way Costco compensates its employees.

From Bloomberg Businessweek's 2013 profile of the company:

Despite the sagging economy and challenges to the industry, Costco pays its hourly workers an average of $20.89 an hour, not including overtime (vs. the minimum wage of $7.25 an hour). By comparison, Walmart said its average wage for full-time employees in the U.S. is $12.67 an hour, according to a letter it sent in April to activist Ralph Nader. Eighty-eight percent of Costco employees have company-sponsored health insurance Walmart says that “more than half” of its do. Costco workers with coverage pay premiums that amount to less than 10 percent of the overall cost of their plans. It treats its employees well in the belief that a happier work environment will result in a more profitable company. “I just think people need to make a living wage with health benefits,” says Jelinek. “It also puts more money back into the economy and creates a healthier country. It’s really that simple."

This treatment of employees has often upset Wall Street. As one analyst from Deutsche Bank wonderfully summed up, "it's better to be an employee or a customer than a shareholder."

4. That said, some workers you see at Costco receive low pay and no benefits.

Costco works through contracting companies like Club Demonstration Services for help with certain store functions. These companies often don't offer benefits and pay much lower wages than Costco. This appears to mostly involve the workers who hand out the much sought after free samples.

Reports have said people from these third-party contractors count for up to 10 percent of in-store Costco workers, though this number is unconfirmed. CDS did not respond to a request for comment.

5. Costco's founder was literally mentored by someone named Mr. Price.

Sol Price, the founder of FedMart.

Founder Jim Sinegal was once served as executive vice president for merchandising at one of the original wholesale retailers, FedMart, and became the protégé of its chairman, Sol Price.

Although not quite as directly, Price's business was the inspiration for Walmart as well. Walmart founder Sam Walton wrote in his book "Made In America" that he named his company Walmart because of the "mart" in FedMart.

Price apparently often told a joke about other retail executives meeting him and saying, “Sol, you are the father of everything we have inherited.” To which Price replied, “I really wish I had worn a condom.”

Mr. Price started FedMart in San Diego during the early 1950s and would also end up creating another warehouse store called Price Club in 1976, which Costco would eventually buy.

6. You can buy "doomsday supplies" and caskets at Costco.

If you're feeling particularly morbid about society's future, you can always go to Costco's Emergency Kits & Supplies page to order things like the "Emergency Cube," which provides over 30,000 servings of food with a shelf life of 25 years. That'll only set you back $4000!

Costco also has a pretty good selection of coffins that can even be ordered online.

7. Bibles at the store were labeled as "fiction" for a brief time.

In late 2013, Costco accidentally labeled a "small percentage" of its Bibles as "fiction," which set off an uproar. The company quickly apologized, blaming their distributors for mislabeling the books.

The company has also sold a book called "The Brick Bible." It's like the Bible, but with Legos . and some mildly NSFW images like this. Sam's Club banned it, but you could still find it at Costco.

8. The apple pie from "American Pie" was reportedly bought at a Costco.

According to IMDb, the apple pie from iconic '90s movie "American Pie" was purchased at Costco. For those who don't remember, the scene features actor Jason Biggs violating an apple pie, only to have his father walk in and catch him in the act.

9. Costco often doesn't always get along with big name brands, including Tiffany & Co. and Apple.

Costco has had a history of conflict with some famous brands. A shortlist:

Tiffany & Company: In February of 2013, the jewelry company filed a multimillion-dollar lawsuit because Costco was selling rings labeled "Tiffany engagement rings," despite the jewelry not being authentic.

Apple: Costco stopped carrying Apple products in 2010, after only being allowed to sell the iPod in stores and being barred from selling any Apple products online. An ongoing animosity seems to exist between the companies.

Coca-Cola: After Coca-Cola failed to give Costco the price they wanted, the retailer took all of the soda off their shelves in 2009. This lasted about a month, until Costco felt they had won the negotiation battle. In 2013, Costco pulled Coca-Cola from their food courts and replaced it with Pepsi after a similar price disagreement.

Starbucks: Starbucks once failed to pass along savings to Costco after a price cut in coffee beans, which led the warehouse to threaten to pull all of their coffee products from their stores. Starbucks chairman Howard Schultz reportedly called Costco owner Jim Sinegal and asked, "Who do you think you are? The price police?" Sinegal answered, "yes."

10. The company refrains from hiring business school graduates.

Costco makes an attempt to hire managerial and higher-level positions from within the company. Some people who started working on the floor have even been subsidized by the company to get their graduate degrees. In an aim to keep a consistent employee culture, Costco actually doesn't hire business school graduates, according to the Bloomberg Businessweek profile from 2013.

11. Costco is the largest importer of high-end French wines.

Costco employs lead wine buyer Annette Alvarez-Peters, who is considered one of the most powerful wine buyers in the world and oversees the retailer's massive wine business. According to a 2012 report by CNBC, "Costco is the world's largest importer of high-end French wines."

Much like the liquors mentioned above, the Kirkland wines are usually just less-expensive versions of other well-respected wines.


11 Things You Didn't Know About Costco

Often much less maligned than its retail warehouse counterparts, Costco has developed a sort of cult following among thrifty shoppers and supporters of workers' rights alike. But if you're one of these wholesale superfans, how much do you truly know about the company?

You may have heard that the first Costco warehouse opened in Seattle and that their Kirkland brand was originally supposed to be "Seattle Signature." Perhaps you're also aware that the company spends no money on advertisements, instead hoping programs like their "treasure hunts," which feature steep but limited-time discounts on luxury -- and occasionally outlandish -- items, will keep customers coming back. But if you're a true die-hard fan of the shopping mecca, you'll need to read on for the true treasures.

Time to earn that Gold Star!


Image: Instagram account @ambermarielove3

1. Costco is actually one of America's largest pizza chains.

Although Costco's current CEO, Craig Jelinek, claims he never touches the pizza, the super large and cheesy slices have become an American cult favorite. Nobody really considers Costco to be a "pizza chain," but with more than 400 stores in the United States, all but a couple with food courts, it is one the biggest pizza sellers in the country. That's just slightly behind giants such as Chuck E. Cheese and CiCi's, and far more than the roughly 265 locations of California Pizza Kitchen. If you feel like their food court pizza doesn't make Costco a true pizzeria, then maybe their "Pizza Hotline," which allows customers to call in pizza orders ahead, will convince you.

Of course, their food courts are also famous for other items, like the hot dog and soda combo which has kept its price of $1.50 for almost three decades.

Image Left: Twitter account @HallieStufano & Image Right: Twitter account @BrielleZolciak

2. They once offered full barrels of Jack Daniel's whiskey.

Costco regularly rotates their partnerships with alcohol companies so this doesn't appear to be currently available, but there was a time when you could buy an actual "single barrel" of Jack Daniels' whiskey for $8499.99. Sam's Club ended up selling the same thing so this wasn't exactly an exclusive, but the Walmart-owned brand sold the barrel for more than $1100 more than Costco's price. Although the barrel is kind of hard to top, Costco's Kirkland brand has also made interesting alcohol partnerships, such as an official version of luxury scotch The Macallan. What makes these Kirkland partnerships special is that they sell for much cheaper than the brands usually go for themselves.

Other non-alcoholic "treasure" purchases in the past have included wedding dresses and a $1 million engagement ring.

3. Their employee wages and benefits are well above competitors.

Costco has been called the "anti-Walmart" by publications from The New York Times to Gawker, and this is largely because of the way Costco compensates its employees.

From Bloomberg Businessweek's 2013 profile of the company:

Despite the sagging economy and challenges to the industry, Costco pays its hourly workers an average of $20.89 an hour, not including overtime (vs. the minimum wage of $7.25 an hour). By comparison, Walmart said its average wage for full-time employees in the U.S. is $12.67 an hour, according to a letter it sent in April to activist Ralph Nader. Eighty-eight percent of Costco employees have company-sponsored health insurance Walmart says that “more than half” of its do. Costco workers with coverage pay premiums that amount to less than 10 percent of the overall cost of their plans. It treats its employees well in the belief that a happier work environment will result in a more profitable company. “I just think people need to make a living wage with health benefits,” says Jelinek. “It also puts more money back into the economy and creates a healthier country. It’s really that simple."

This treatment of employees has often upset Wall Street. As one analyst from Deutsche Bank wonderfully summed up, "it's better to be an employee or a customer than a shareholder."

4. That said, some workers you see at Costco receive low pay and no benefits.

Costco works through contracting companies like Club Demonstration Services for help with certain store functions. These companies often don't offer benefits and pay much lower wages than Costco. This appears to mostly involve the workers who hand out the much sought after free samples.

Reports have said people from these third-party contractors count for up to 10 percent of in-store Costco workers, though this number is unconfirmed. CDS did not respond to a request for comment.

5. Costco's founder was literally mentored by someone named Mr. Price.

Sol Price, the founder of FedMart.

Founder Jim Sinegal was once served as executive vice president for merchandising at one of the original wholesale retailers, FedMart, and became the protégé of its chairman, Sol Price.

Although not quite as directly, Price's business was the inspiration for Walmart as well. Walmart founder Sam Walton wrote in his book "Made In America" that he named his company Walmart because of the "mart" in FedMart.

Price apparently often told a joke about other retail executives meeting him and saying, “Sol, you are the father of everything we have inherited.” To which Price replied, “I really wish I had worn a condom.”

Mr. Price started FedMart in San Diego during the early 1950s and would also end up creating another warehouse store called Price Club in 1976, which Costco would eventually buy.

6. You can buy "doomsday supplies" and caskets at Costco.

If you're feeling particularly morbid about society's future, you can always go to Costco's Emergency Kits & Supplies page to order things like the "Emergency Cube," which provides over 30,000 servings of food with a shelf life of 25 years. That'll only set you back $4000!

Costco also has a pretty good selection of coffins that can even be ordered online.

7. Bibles at the store were labeled as "fiction" for a brief time.

In late 2013, Costco accidentally labeled a "small percentage" of its Bibles as "fiction," which set off an uproar. The company quickly apologized, blaming their distributors for mislabeling the books.

The company has also sold a book called "The Brick Bible." It's like the Bible, but with Legos . and some mildly NSFW images like this. Sam's Club banned it, but you could still find it at Costco.

8. The apple pie from "American Pie" was reportedly bought at a Costco.

According to IMDb, the apple pie from iconic '90s movie "American Pie" was purchased at Costco. For those who don't remember, the scene features actor Jason Biggs violating an apple pie, only to have his father walk in and catch him in the act.

9. Costco often doesn't always get along with big name brands, including Tiffany & Co. and Apple.

Costco has had a history of conflict with some famous brands. A shortlist:

Tiffany & Company: In February of 2013, the jewelry company filed a multimillion-dollar lawsuit because Costco was selling rings labeled "Tiffany engagement rings," despite the jewelry not being authentic.

Apple: Costco stopped carrying Apple products in 2010, after only being allowed to sell the iPod in stores and being barred from selling any Apple products online. An ongoing animosity seems to exist between the companies.

Coca-Cola: After Coca-Cola failed to give Costco the price they wanted, the retailer took all of the soda off their shelves in 2009. This lasted about a month, until Costco felt they had won the negotiation battle. In 2013, Costco pulled Coca-Cola from their food courts and replaced it with Pepsi after a similar price disagreement.

Starbucks: Starbucks once failed to pass along savings to Costco after a price cut in coffee beans, which led the warehouse to threaten to pull all of their coffee products from their stores. Starbucks chairman Howard Schultz reportedly called Costco owner Jim Sinegal and asked, "Who do you think you are? The price police?" Sinegal answered, "yes."

10. The company refrains from hiring business school graduates.

Costco makes an attempt to hire managerial and higher-level positions from within the company. Some people who started working on the floor have even been subsidized by the company to get their graduate degrees. In an aim to keep a consistent employee culture, Costco actually doesn't hire business school graduates, according to the Bloomberg Businessweek profile from 2013.

11. Costco is the largest importer of high-end French wines.

Costco employs lead wine buyer Annette Alvarez-Peters, who is considered one of the most powerful wine buyers in the world and oversees the retailer's massive wine business. According to a 2012 report by CNBC, "Costco is the world's largest importer of high-end French wines."

Much like the liquors mentioned above, the Kirkland wines are usually just less-expensive versions of other well-respected wines.


11 Things You Didn't Know About Costco

Often much less maligned than its retail warehouse counterparts, Costco has developed a sort of cult following among thrifty shoppers and supporters of workers' rights alike. But if you're one of these wholesale superfans, how much do you truly know about the company?

You may have heard that the first Costco warehouse opened in Seattle and that their Kirkland brand was originally supposed to be "Seattle Signature." Perhaps you're also aware that the company spends no money on advertisements, instead hoping programs like their "treasure hunts," which feature steep but limited-time discounts on luxury -- and occasionally outlandish -- items, will keep customers coming back. But if you're a true die-hard fan of the shopping mecca, you'll need to read on for the true treasures.

Time to earn that Gold Star!


Image: Instagram account @ambermarielove3

1. Costco is actually one of America's largest pizza chains.

Although Costco's current CEO, Craig Jelinek, claims he never touches the pizza, the super large and cheesy slices have become an American cult favorite. Nobody really considers Costco to be a "pizza chain," but with more than 400 stores in the United States, all but a couple with food courts, it is one the biggest pizza sellers in the country. That's just slightly behind giants such as Chuck E. Cheese and CiCi's, and far more than the roughly 265 locations of California Pizza Kitchen. If you feel like their food court pizza doesn't make Costco a true pizzeria, then maybe their "Pizza Hotline," which allows customers to call in pizza orders ahead, will convince you.

Of course, their food courts are also famous for other items, like the hot dog and soda combo which has kept its price of $1.50 for almost three decades.

Image Left: Twitter account @HallieStufano & Image Right: Twitter account @BrielleZolciak

2. They once offered full barrels of Jack Daniel's whiskey.

Costco regularly rotates their partnerships with alcohol companies so this doesn't appear to be currently available, but there was a time when you could buy an actual "single barrel" of Jack Daniels' whiskey for $8499.99. Sam's Club ended up selling the same thing so this wasn't exactly an exclusive, but the Walmart-owned brand sold the barrel for more than $1100 more than Costco's price. Although the barrel is kind of hard to top, Costco's Kirkland brand has also made interesting alcohol partnerships, such as an official version of luxury scotch The Macallan. What makes these Kirkland partnerships special is that they sell for much cheaper than the brands usually go for themselves.

Other non-alcoholic "treasure" purchases in the past have included wedding dresses and a $1 million engagement ring.

3. Their employee wages and benefits are well above competitors.

Costco has been called the "anti-Walmart" by publications from The New York Times to Gawker, and this is largely because of the way Costco compensates its employees.

From Bloomberg Businessweek's 2013 profile of the company:

Despite the sagging economy and challenges to the industry, Costco pays its hourly workers an average of $20.89 an hour, not including overtime (vs. the minimum wage of $7.25 an hour). By comparison, Walmart said its average wage for full-time employees in the U.S. is $12.67 an hour, according to a letter it sent in April to activist Ralph Nader. Eighty-eight percent of Costco employees have company-sponsored health insurance Walmart says that “more than half” of its do. Costco workers with coverage pay premiums that amount to less than 10 percent of the overall cost of their plans. It treats its employees well in the belief that a happier work environment will result in a more profitable company. “I just think people need to make a living wage with health benefits,” says Jelinek. “It also puts more money back into the economy and creates a healthier country. It’s really that simple."

This treatment of employees has often upset Wall Street. As one analyst from Deutsche Bank wonderfully summed up, "it's better to be an employee or a customer than a shareholder."

4. That said, some workers you see at Costco receive low pay and no benefits.

Costco works through contracting companies like Club Demonstration Services for help with certain store functions. These companies often don't offer benefits and pay much lower wages than Costco. This appears to mostly involve the workers who hand out the much sought after free samples.

Reports have said people from these third-party contractors count for up to 10 percent of in-store Costco workers, though this number is unconfirmed. CDS did not respond to a request for comment.

5. Costco's founder was literally mentored by someone named Mr. Price.

Sol Price, the founder of FedMart.

Founder Jim Sinegal was once served as executive vice president for merchandising at one of the original wholesale retailers, FedMart, and became the protégé of its chairman, Sol Price.

Although not quite as directly, Price's business was the inspiration for Walmart as well. Walmart founder Sam Walton wrote in his book "Made In America" that he named his company Walmart because of the "mart" in FedMart.

Price apparently often told a joke about other retail executives meeting him and saying, “Sol, you are the father of everything we have inherited.” To which Price replied, “I really wish I had worn a condom.”

Mr. Price started FedMart in San Diego during the early 1950s and would also end up creating another warehouse store called Price Club in 1976, which Costco would eventually buy.

6. You can buy "doomsday supplies" and caskets at Costco.

If you're feeling particularly morbid about society's future, you can always go to Costco's Emergency Kits & Supplies page to order things like the "Emergency Cube," which provides over 30,000 servings of food with a shelf life of 25 years. That'll only set you back $4000!

Costco also has a pretty good selection of coffins that can even be ordered online.

7. Bibles at the store were labeled as "fiction" for a brief time.

In late 2013, Costco accidentally labeled a "small percentage" of its Bibles as "fiction," which set off an uproar. The company quickly apologized, blaming their distributors for mislabeling the books.

The company has also sold a book called "The Brick Bible." It's like the Bible, but with Legos . and some mildly NSFW images like this. Sam's Club banned it, but you could still find it at Costco.

8. The apple pie from "American Pie" was reportedly bought at a Costco.

According to IMDb, the apple pie from iconic '90s movie "American Pie" was purchased at Costco. For those who don't remember, the scene features actor Jason Biggs violating an apple pie, only to have his father walk in and catch him in the act.

9. Costco often doesn't always get along with big name brands, including Tiffany & Co. and Apple.

Costco has had a history of conflict with some famous brands. A shortlist:

Tiffany & Company: In February of 2013, the jewelry company filed a multimillion-dollar lawsuit because Costco was selling rings labeled "Tiffany engagement rings," despite the jewelry not being authentic.

Apple: Costco stopped carrying Apple products in 2010, after only being allowed to sell the iPod in stores and being barred from selling any Apple products online. An ongoing animosity seems to exist between the companies.

Coca-Cola: After Coca-Cola failed to give Costco the price they wanted, the retailer took all of the soda off their shelves in 2009. This lasted about a month, until Costco felt they had won the negotiation battle. In 2013, Costco pulled Coca-Cola from their food courts and replaced it with Pepsi after a similar price disagreement.

Starbucks: Starbucks once failed to pass along savings to Costco after a price cut in coffee beans, which led the warehouse to threaten to pull all of their coffee products from their stores. Starbucks chairman Howard Schultz reportedly called Costco owner Jim Sinegal and asked, "Who do you think you are? The price police?" Sinegal answered, "yes."

10. The company refrains from hiring business school graduates.

Costco makes an attempt to hire managerial and higher-level positions from within the company. Some people who started working on the floor have even been subsidized by the company to get their graduate degrees. In an aim to keep a consistent employee culture, Costco actually doesn't hire business school graduates, according to the Bloomberg Businessweek profile from 2013.

11. Costco is the largest importer of high-end French wines.

Costco employs lead wine buyer Annette Alvarez-Peters, who is considered one of the most powerful wine buyers in the world and oversees the retailer's massive wine business. According to a 2012 report by CNBC, "Costco is the world's largest importer of high-end French wines."

Much like the liquors mentioned above, the Kirkland wines are usually just less-expensive versions of other well-respected wines.


11 Things You Didn't Know About Costco

Often much less maligned than its retail warehouse counterparts, Costco has developed a sort of cult following among thrifty shoppers and supporters of workers' rights alike. But if you're one of these wholesale superfans, how much do you truly know about the company?

You may have heard that the first Costco warehouse opened in Seattle and that their Kirkland brand was originally supposed to be "Seattle Signature." Perhaps you're also aware that the company spends no money on advertisements, instead hoping programs like their "treasure hunts," which feature steep but limited-time discounts on luxury -- and occasionally outlandish -- items, will keep customers coming back. But if you're a true die-hard fan of the shopping mecca, you'll need to read on for the true treasures.

Time to earn that Gold Star!


Image: Instagram account @ambermarielove3

1. Costco is actually one of America's largest pizza chains.

Although Costco's current CEO, Craig Jelinek, claims he never touches the pizza, the super large and cheesy slices have become an American cult favorite. Nobody really considers Costco to be a "pizza chain," but with more than 400 stores in the United States, all but a couple with food courts, it is one the biggest pizza sellers in the country. That's just slightly behind giants such as Chuck E. Cheese and CiCi's, and far more than the roughly 265 locations of California Pizza Kitchen. If you feel like their food court pizza doesn't make Costco a true pizzeria, then maybe their "Pizza Hotline," which allows customers to call in pizza orders ahead, will convince you.

Of course, their food courts are also famous for other items, like the hot dog and soda combo which has kept its price of $1.50 for almost three decades.

Image Left: Twitter account @HallieStufano & Image Right: Twitter account @BrielleZolciak

2. They once offered full barrels of Jack Daniel's whiskey.

Costco regularly rotates their partnerships with alcohol companies so this doesn't appear to be currently available, but there was a time when you could buy an actual "single barrel" of Jack Daniels' whiskey for $8499.99. Sam's Club ended up selling the same thing so this wasn't exactly an exclusive, but the Walmart-owned brand sold the barrel for more than $1100 more than Costco's price. Although the barrel is kind of hard to top, Costco's Kirkland brand has also made interesting alcohol partnerships, such as an official version of luxury scotch The Macallan. What makes these Kirkland partnerships special is that they sell for much cheaper than the brands usually go for themselves.

Other non-alcoholic "treasure" purchases in the past have included wedding dresses and a $1 million engagement ring.

3. Their employee wages and benefits are well above competitors.

Costco has been called the "anti-Walmart" by publications from The New York Times to Gawker, and this is largely because of the way Costco compensates its employees.

From Bloomberg Businessweek's 2013 profile of the company:

Despite the sagging economy and challenges to the industry, Costco pays its hourly workers an average of $20.89 an hour, not including overtime (vs. the minimum wage of $7.25 an hour). By comparison, Walmart said its average wage for full-time employees in the U.S. is $12.67 an hour, according to a letter it sent in April to activist Ralph Nader. Eighty-eight percent of Costco employees have company-sponsored health insurance Walmart says that “more than half” of its do. Costco workers with coverage pay premiums that amount to less than 10 percent of the overall cost of their plans. It treats its employees well in the belief that a happier work environment will result in a more profitable company. “I just think people need to make a living wage with health benefits,” says Jelinek. “It also puts more money back into the economy and creates a healthier country. It’s really that simple."

This treatment of employees has often upset Wall Street. As one analyst from Deutsche Bank wonderfully summed up, "it's better to be an employee or a customer than a shareholder."

4. That said, some workers you see at Costco receive low pay and no benefits.

Costco works through contracting companies like Club Demonstration Services for help with certain store functions. These companies often don't offer benefits and pay much lower wages than Costco. This appears to mostly involve the workers who hand out the much sought after free samples.

Reports have said people from these third-party contractors count for up to 10 percent of in-store Costco workers, though this number is unconfirmed. CDS did not respond to a request for comment.

5. Costco's founder was literally mentored by someone named Mr. Price.

Sol Price, the founder of FedMart.

Founder Jim Sinegal was once served as executive vice president for merchandising at one of the original wholesale retailers, FedMart, and became the protégé of its chairman, Sol Price.

Although not quite as directly, Price's business was the inspiration for Walmart as well. Walmart founder Sam Walton wrote in his book "Made In America" that he named his company Walmart because of the "mart" in FedMart.

Price apparently often told a joke about other retail executives meeting him and saying, “Sol, you are the father of everything we have inherited.” To which Price replied, “I really wish I had worn a condom.”

Mr. Price started FedMart in San Diego during the early 1950s and would also end up creating another warehouse store called Price Club in 1976, which Costco would eventually buy.

6. You can buy "doomsday supplies" and caskets at Costco.

If you're feeling particularly morbid about society's future, you can always go to Costco's Emergency Kits & Supplies page to order things like the "Emergency Cube," which provides over 30,000 servings of food with a shelf life of 25 years. That'll only set you back $4000!

Costco also has a pretty good selection of coffins that can even be ordered online.

7. Bibles at the store were labeled as "fiction" for a brief time.

In late 2013, Costco accidentally labeled a "small percentage" of its Bibles as "fiction," which set off an uproar. The company quickly apologized, blaming their distributors for mislabeling the books.

The company has also sold a book called "The Brick Bible." It's like the Bible, but with Legos . and some mildly NSFW images like this. Sam's Club banned it, but you could still find it at Costco.

8. The apple pie from "American Pie" was reportedly bought at a Costco.

According to IMDb, the apple pie from iconic '90s movie "American Pie" was purchased at Costco. For those who don't remember, the scene features actor Jason Biggs violating an apple pie, only to have his father walk in and catch him in the act.

9. Costco often doesn't always get along with big name brands, including Tiffany & Co. and Apple.

Costco has had a history of conflict with some famous brands. A shortlist:

Tiffany & Company: In February of 2013, the jewelry company filed a multimillion-dollar lawsuit because Costco was selling rings labeled "Tiffany engagement rings," despite the jewelry not being authentic.

Apple: Costco stopped carrying Apple products in 2010, after only being allowed to sell the iPod in stores and being barred from selling any Apple products online. An ongoing animosity seems to exist between the companies.

Coca-Cola: After Coca-Cola failed to give Costco the price they wanted, the retailer took all of the soda off their shelves in 2009. This lasted about a month, until Costco felt they had won the negotiation battle. In 2013, Costco pulled Coca-Cola from their food courts and replaced it with Pepsi after a similar price disagreement.

Starbucks: Starbucks once failed to pass along savings to Costco after a price cut in coffee beans, which led the warehouse to threaten to pull all of their coffee products from their stores. Starbucks chairman Howard Schultz reportedly called Costco owner Jim Sinegal and asked, "Who do you think you are? The price police?" Sinegal answered, "yes."

10. The company refrains from hiring business school graduates.

Costco makes an attempt to hire managerial and higher-level positions from within the company. Some people who started working on the floor have even been subsidized by the company to get their graduate degrees. In an aim to keep a consistent employee culture, Costco actually doesn't hire business school graduates, according to the Bloomberg Businessweek profile from 2013.

11. Costco is the largest importer of high-end French wines.

Costco employs lead wine buyer Annette Alvarez-Peters, who is considered one of the most powerful wine buyers in the world and oversees the retailer's massive wine business. According to a 2012 report by CNBC, "Costco is the world's largest importer of high-end French wines."

Much like the liquors mentioned above, the Kirkland wines are usually just less-expensive versions of other well-respected wines.


11 Things You Didn't Know About Costco

Often much less maligned than its retail warehouse counterparts, Costco has developed a sort of cult following among thrifty shoppers and supporters of workers' rights alike. But if you're one of these wholesale superfans, how much do you truly know about the company?

You may have heard that the first Costco warehouse opened in Seattle and that their Kirkland brand was originally supposed to be "Seattle Signature." Perhaps you're also aware that the company spends no money on advertisements, instead hoping programs like their "treasure hunts," which feature steep but limited-time discounts on luxury -- and occasionally outlandish -- items, will keep customers coming back. But if you're a true die-hard fan of the shopping mecca, you'll need to read on for the true treasures.

Time to earn that Gold Star!


Image: Instagram account @ambermarielove3

1. Costco is actually one of America's largest pizza chains.

Although Costco's current CEO, Craig Jelinek, claims he never touches the pizza, the super large and cheesy slices have become an American cult favorite. Nobody really considers Costco to be a "pizza chain," but with more than 400 stores in the United States, all but a couple with food courts, it is one the biggest pizza sellers in the country. That's just slightly behind giants such as Chuck E. Cheese and CiCi's, and far more than the roughly 265 locations of California Pizza Kitchen. If you feel like their food court pizza doesn't make Costco a true pizzeria, then maybe their "Pizza Hotline," which allows customers to call in pizza orders ahead, will convince you.

Of course, their food courts are also famous for other items, like the hot dog and soda combo which has kept its price of $1.50 for almost three decades.

Image Left: Twitter account @HallieStufano & Image Right: Twitter account @BrielleZolciak

2. They once offered full barrels of Jack Daniel's whiskey.

Costco regularly rotates their partnerships with alcohol companies so this doesn't appear to be currently available, but there was a time when you could buy an actual "single barrel" of Jack Daniels' whiskey for $8499.99. Sam's Club ended up selling the same thing so this wasn't exactly an exclusive, but the Walmart-owned brand sold the barrel for more than $1100 more than Costco's price. Although the barrel is kind of hard to top, Costco's Kirkland brand has also made interesting alcohol partnerships, such as an official version of luxury scotch The Macallan. What makes these Kirkland partnerships special is that they sell for much cheaper than the brands usually go for themselves.

Other non-alcoholic "treasure" purchases in the past have included wedding dresses and a $1 million engagement ring.

3. Their employee wages and benefits are well above competitors.

Costco has been called the "anti-Walmart" by publications from The New York Times to Gawker, and this is largely because of the way Costco compensates its employees.

From Bloomberg Businessweek's 2013 profile of the company:

Despite the sagging economy and challenges to the industry, Costco pays its hourly workers an average of $20.89 an hour, not including overtime (vs. the minimum wage of $7.25 an hour). By comparison, Walmart said its average wage for full-time employees in the U.S. is $12.67 an hour, according to a letter it sent in April to activist Ralph Nader. Eighty-eight percent of Costco employees have company-sponsored health insurance Walmart says that “more than half” of its do. Costco workers with coverage pay premiums that amount to less than 10 percent of the overall cost of their plans. It treats its employees well in the belief that a happier work environment will result in a more profitable company. “I just think people need to make a living wage with health benefits,” says Jelinek. “It also puts more money back into the economy and creates a healthier country. It’s really that simple."

This treatment of employees has often upset Wall Street. As one analyst from Deutsche Bank wonderfully summed up, "it's better to be an employee or a customer than a shareholder."

4. That said, some workers you see at Costco receive low pay and no benefits.

Costco works through contracting companies like Club Demonstration Services for help with certain store functions. These companies often don't offer benefits and pay much lower wages than Costco. This appears to mostly involve the workers who hand out the much sought after free samples.

Reports have said people from these third-party contractors count for up to 10 percent of in-store Costco workers, though this number is unconfirmed. CDS did not respond to a request for comment.

5. Costco's founder was literally mentored by someone named Mr. Price.

Sol Price, the founder of FedMart.

Founder Jim Sinegal was once served as executive vice president for merchandising at one of the original wholesale retailers, FedMart, and became the protégé of its chairman, Sol Price.

Although not quite as directly, Price's business was the inspiration for Walmart as well. Walmart founder Sam Walton wrote in his book "Made In America" that he named his company Walmart because of the "mart" in FedMart.

Price apparently often told a joke about other retail executives meeting him and saying, “Sol, you are the father of everything we have inherited.” To which Price replied, “I really wish I had worn a condom.”

Mr. Price started FedMart in San Diego during the early 1950s and would also end up creating another warehouse store called Price Club in 1976, which Costco would eventually buy.

6. You can buy "doomsday supplies" and caskets at Costco.

If you're feeling particularly morbid about society's future, you can always go to Costco's Emergency Kits & Supplies page to order things like the "Emergency Cube," which provides over 30,000 servings of food with a shelf life of 25 years. That'll only set you back $4000!

Costco also has a pretty good selection of coffins that can even be ordered online.

7. Bibles at the store were labeled as "fiction" for a brief time.

In late 2013, Costco accidentally labeled a "small percentage" of its Bibles as "fiction," which set off an uproar. The company quickly apologized, blaming their distributors for mislabeling the books.

The company has also sold a book called "The Brick Bible." It's like the Bible, but with Legos . and some mildly NSFW images like this. Sam's Club banned it, but you could still find it at Costco.

8. The apple pie from "American Pie" was reportedly bought at a Costco.

According to IMDb, the apple pie from iconic '90s movie "American Pie" was purchased at Costco. For those who don't remember, the scene features actor Jason Biggs violating an apple pie, only to have his father walk in and catch him in the act.

9. Costco often doesn't always get along with big name brands, including Tiffany & Co. and Apple.

Costco has had a history of conflict with some famous brands. A shortlist:

Tiffany & Company: In February of 2013, the jewelry company filed a multimillion-dollar lawsuit because Costco was selling rings labeled "Tiffany engagement rings," despite the jewelry not being authentic.

Apple: Costco stopped carrying Apple products in 2010, after only being allowed to sell the iPod in stores and being barred from selling any Apple products online. An ongoing animosity seems to exist between the companies.

Coca-Cola: After Coca-Cola failed to give Costco the price they wanted, the retailer took all of the soda off their shelves in 2009. This lasted about a month, until Costco felt they had won the negotiation battle. In 2013, Costco pulled Coca-Cola from their food courts and replaced it with Pepsi after a similar price disagreement.

Starbucks: Starbucks once failed to pass along savings to Costco after a price cut in coffee beans, which led the warehouse to threaten to pull all of their coffee products from their stores. Starbucks chairman Howard Schultz reportedly called Costco owner Jim Sinegal and asked, "Who do you think you are? The price police?" Sinegal answered, "yes."

10. The company refrains from hiring business school graduates.

Costco makes an attempt to hire managerial and higher-level positions from within the company. Some people who started working on the floor have even been subsidized by the company to get their graduate degrees. In an aim to keep a consistent employee culture, Costco actually doesn't hire business school graduates, according to the Bloomberg Businessweek profile from 2013.

11. Costco is the largest importer of high-end French wines.

Costco employs lead wine buyer Annette Alvarez-Peters, who is considered one of the most powerful wine buyers in the world and oversees the retailer's massive wine business. According to a 2012 report by CNBC, "Costco is the world's largest importer of high-end French wines."

Much like the liquors mentioned above, the Kirkland wines are usually just less-expensive versions of other well-respected wines.


11 Things You Didn't Know About Costco

Often much less maligned than its retail warehouse counterparts, Costco has developed a sort of cult following among thrifty shoppers and supporters of workers' rights alike. But if you're one of these wholesale superfans, how much do you truly know about the company?

You may have heard that the first Costco warehouse opened in Seattle and that their Kirkland brand was originally supposed to be "Seattle Signature." Perhaps you're also aware that the company spends no money on advertisements, instead hoping programs like their "treasure hunts," which feature steep but limited-time discounts on luxury -- and occasionally outlandish -- items, will keep customers coming back. But if you're a true die-hard fan of the shopping mecca, you'll need to read on for the true treasures.

Time to earn that Gold Star!


Image: Instagram account @ambermarielove3

1. Costco is actually one of America's largest pizza chains.

Although Costco's current CEO, Craig Jelinek, claims he never touches the pizza, the super large and cheesy slices have become an American cult favorite. Nobody really considers Costco to be a "pizza chain," but with more than 400 stores in the United States, all but a couple with food courts, it is one the biggest pizza sellers in the country. That's just slightly behind giants such as Chuck E. Cheese and CiCi's, and far more than the roughly 265 locations of California Pizza Kitchen. If you feel like their food court pizza doesn't make Costco a true pizzeria, then maybe their "Pizza Hotline," which allows customers to call in pizza orders ahead, will convince you.

Of course, their food courts are also famous for other items, like the hot dog and soda combo which has kept its price of $1.50 for almost three decades.

Image Left: Twitter account @HallieStufano & Image Right: Twitter account @BrielleZolciak

2. They once offered full barrels of Jack Daniel's whiskey.

Costco regularly rotates their partnerships with alcohol companies so this doesn't appear to be currently available, but there was a time when you could buy an actual "single barrel" of Jack Daniels' whiskey for $8499.99. Sam's Club ended up selling the same thing so this wasn't exactly an exclusive, but the Walmart-owned brand sold the barrel for more than $1100 more than Costco's price. Although the barrel is kind of hard to top, Costco's Kirkland brand has also made interesting alcohol partnerships, such as an official version of luxury scotch The Macallan. What makes these Kirkland partnerships special is that they sell for much cheaper than the brands usually go for themselves.

Other non-alcoholic "treasure" purchases in the past have included wedding dresses and a $1 million engagement ring.

3. Their employee wages and benefits are well above competitors.

Costco has been called the "anti-Walmart" by publications from The New York Times to Gawker, and this is largely because of the way Costco compensates its employees.

From Bloomberg Businessweek's 2013 profile of the company:

Despite the sagging economy and challenges to the industry, Costco pays its hourly workers an average of $20.89 an hour, not including overtime (vs. the minimum wage of $7.25 an hour). By comparison, Walmart said its average wage for full-time employees in the U.S. is $12.67 an hour, according to a letter it sent in April to activist Ralph Nader. Eighty-eight percent of Costco employees have company-sponsored health insurance Walmart says that “more than half” of its do. Costco workers with coverage pay premiums that amount to less than 10 percent of the overall cost of their plans. It treats its employees well in the belief that a happier work environment will result in a more profitable company. “I just think people need to make a living wage with health benefits,” says Jelinek. “It also puts more money back into the economy and creates a healthier country. It’s really that simple."

This treatment of employees has often upset Wall Street. As one analyst from Deutsche Bank wonderfully summed up, "it's better to be an employee or a customer than a shareholder."

4. That said, some workers you see at Costco receive low pay and no benefits.

Costco works through contracting companies like Club Demonstration Services for help with certain store functions. These companies often don't offer benefits and pay much lower wages than Costco. This appears to mostly involve the workers who hand out the much sought after free samples.

Reports have said people from these third-party contractors count for up to 10 percent of in-store Costco workers, though this number is unconfirmed. CDS did not respond to a request for comment.

5. Costco's founder was literally mentored by someone named Mr. Price.

Sol Price, the founder of FedMart.

Founder Jim Sinegal was once served as executive vice president for merchandising at one of the original wholesale retailers, FedMart, and became the protégé of its chairman, Sol Price.

Although not quite as directly, Price's business was the inspiration for Walmart as well. Walmart founder Sam Walton wrote in his book "Made In America" that he named his company Walmart because of the "mart" in FedMart.

Price apparently often told a joke about other retail executives meeting him and saying, “Sol, you are the father of everything we have inherited.” To which Price replied, “I really wish I had worn a condom.”

Mr. Price started FedMart in San Diego during the early 1950s and would also end up creating another warehouse store called Price Club in 1976, which Costco would eventually buy.

6. You can buy "doomsday supplies" and caskets at Costco.

If you're feeling particularly morbid about society's future, you can always go to Costco's Emergency Kits & Supplies page to order things like the "Emergency Cube," which provides over 30,000 servings of food with a shelf life of 25 years. That'll only set you back $4000!

Costco also has a pretty good selection of coffins that can even be ordered online.

7. Bibles at the store were labeled as "fiction" for a brief time.

In late 2013, Costco accidentally labeled a "small percentage" of its Bibles as "fiction," which set off an uproar. The company quickly apologized, blaming their distributors for mislabeling the books.

The company has also sold a book called "The Brick Bible." It's like the Bible, but with Legos . and some mildly NSFW images like this. Sam's Club banned it, but you could still find it at Costco.

8. The apple pie from "American Pie" was reportedly bought at a Costco.

According to IMDb, the apple pie from iconic '90s movie "American Pie" was purchased at Costco. For those who don't remember, the scene features actor Jason Biggs violating an apple pie, only to have his father walk in and catch him in the act.

9. Costco often doesn't always get along with big name brands, including Tiffany & Co. and Apple.

Costco has had a history of conflict with some famous brands. A shortlist:

Tiffany & Company: In February of 2013, the jewelry company filed a multimillion-dollar lawsuit because Costco was selling rings labeled "Tiffany engagement rings," despite the jewelry not being authentic.

Apple: Costco stopped carrying Apple products in 2010, after only being allowed to sell the iPod in stores and being barred from selling any Apple products online. An ongoing animosity seems to exist between the companies.

Coca-Cola: After Coca-Cola failed to give Costco the price they wanted, the retailer took all of the soda off their shelves in 2009. This lasted about a month, until Costco felt they had won the negotiation battle. In 2013, Costco pulled Coca-Cola from their food courts and replaced it with Pepsi after a similar price disagreement.

Starbucks: Starbucks once failed to pass along savings to Costco after a price cut in coffee beans, which led the warehouse to threaten to pull all of their coffee products from their stores. Starbucks chairman Howard Schultz reportedly called Costco owner Jim Sinegal and asked, "Who do you think you are? The price police?" Sinegal answered, "yes."

10. The company refrains from hiring business school graduates.

Costco makes an attempt to hire managerial and higher-level positions from within the company. Some people who started working on the floor have even been subsidized by the company to get their graduate degrees. In an aim to keep a consistent employee culture, Costco actually doesn't hire business school graduates, according to the Bloomberg Businessweek profile from 2013.

11. Costco is the largest importer of high-end French wines.

Costco employs lead wine buyer Annette Alvarez-Peters, who is considered one of the most powerful wine buyers in the world and oversees the retailer's massive wine business. According to a 2012 report by CNBC, "Costco is the world's largest importer of high-end French wines."

Much like the liquors mentioned above, the Kirkland wines are usually just less-expensive versions of other well-respected wines.