the year. These items appear early and are often gone before the end of the season. This “early in, early out” approach is one key element of Costco’s formula
to keep costs as low as possible—which translates into savings for members.
“One of the exciting things in the warehouses is the experience of
change,” says Dennis Knapp, who, as Costco’s senior vice president of nonfood merchandising, oversees many seasonal items. “There’s a treasure-hunt
feeling in the warehouses, with seasonal and opportunistic buys available for
the members. We work hard to offer the right balance of exciting new products and our popular staples.”
The seasons of Costco follow this general schedule: In mid-July, fall and
winter sweaters, fleece and outerwear start arriving. They’re followed in late
August and early September by holiday items: imported home decorations,
tree-trimming novelties, fancy food gift baskets, European housewares for
gifts and much more.
Summer clothes appear in some regions as early as mid-December.
Before New Year’s, tax-related products are featured, such as organizers and
software. Also in winter, the first home and garden goods for spring arrive,
increasing in number by early March: lawn mowers, garden tools and supplies, roses and other plants, and much more. Coinciding with the arrival of
these spring goods are the first summer recreational products, such as
tents and camping accessories.
In late May and June, back-to-school products appear, increasing in
number by July 4. And in summer, the whole cycle begins again.
Two smaller seasons are squeezed in during the year to fill in between the
more popular periods. From mid-December through mid-February (between
the holiday rush and the arrival of spring products), you’ll find exclusive furniture sets and a collection of home and office containers for organizing. Those
products are also brought in between mid-July and mid-September, between
the summer and holiday seasons.
The exact arrival dates for these seasonal products vary from region to
region to reflect different climates and shipping arrangements. For example,
If shopping at a Costco warehouse
is a veritable treasure hunt (you never
know what you may find down the next
aisle), Costco’s Web site,
com, is a virtual one. That’s because only
10 percent of the merchandise mirrors
that of the warehouses.
Many seasonal items are available
year-round on costco.com. For example,
patio furniture, generators, grills and spas
are all available online, whether the
weather is right for them or not.
Here’s some of what else you’ll find.
Furniture. From individual pieces to
complete rooms, hundreds of furniture
items for every room of the house and
office are available year-round.
Office products. Thousands of
items, from corporate gifts and office furniture to a vast selection of ink and toner
cartridges to paper clips, in most cases
with next-day delivery.
Tires. An expanded selection of
tires for almost any vehicle. A user-friendly search tool helps members find
the wheels they seek and have them
Early to mid-July
Furniture, fall and winter
clothes (sweaters, fleece,
sheets, down comforters,
Mid-July to mid-September
Plastic storage organizers, calculators, educational software,
scissors, globes, crayons and
Late August to
Holiday décor, food and beauty
gift baskets, toys, Kirkland
Signature™ assorted cookies
and candies, imported gifts,
wrapping paper, tree stands,
collectibles, snow tires and other
winter automotive supplies
Spring clothes (sandals,
shorts, short-sleeve knits and
sleeveless dresses), furniture,