Members-only warehouse giant Costco is offering customers another convenience perk – but with a slow rollout.
Pickup lockers will be available in approximately 224 locations by the end of 2022, Richard Galanti, Costco’s chief financial officer, said in an earnings call. At the end of 2021, there were approximately 112 Costco warehouses with e-commerce pickup lockers.
On its web page, Costco still doesn’t pinpoint the warehouse clubs that are equipped with the e-commerce lockers. Customers have seen them in California near a Costco distribution center. They’re likely in warehouse clubs near Costco’s home base in Issaquah, Wash.
The offering has its roots in the early days of the pandemic, when Costco rolled out conveniences including full curbside pickup, senior shopping hours and store employees working the self-service checkouts to speed growing lines of shoppers with full carts.
Now, senior shopping hours have been culled. And while Costco still offers customers the ability to order online and pickup at the store, it’s only available on eligible items (opens in new tab) (some jewelry, laptops, tablets, computer hard drives and cell phones).
The lockers seem aimed at filling this gap. They work much like Amazon’s bright-yellow pickup lockers, located in Amazon’s Whole Foods stores and other locations. Order online and check the option for locker pickup. A code will be sent to you to give you access to the locker where your online orders are stashed.
In addition to the general merchandise pickup lockers, Costco is also offering, in some locations, prescription pickup lockers (opens in new tab) for its in-store pharmacy. That will be a huge relief to those customers stuck in long lines at Costco’s pharmacy. A unique code, sent by email or text, will give you access to your prescription locker when you arrive for pickup.
Costco’s locker strategy is built around hoping customers will come into the store for their locker pickups and buy more items. One way to make that happen? Costco shoppers who have used the lockers have complained on social media about their small size.
Bob is a Senior Online Editor at Kiplinger.com. He has more than 40 years of experience in online, print and visual journalism. Bob has worked as an award-winning writer and editor in the Washington, D.C., market as well as at news organizations in New York, Michigan and California. Bob joined Kiplinger in 2016, bringing a wealth of expertise covering retail, entertainment, and money-saving trends and topics. He was one of the first journalists at a daily news organization to aggressively cover retail as a specialty, and has been lauded in the retail industry for his expertise. Bob has also been an adjunct and associate professor of print, online and visual journalism at Syracuse University and Ithaca College. He has a master’s degree from Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications and a bachelor’s degree in communications and theater from Hope College.
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