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from the publisher’s desk
WHEN WE FIRST opened up our warehouse doors to the
Seattle public in 1983, the thought was that the majority of
our members would be small-business owners, and any
other cardholders would be large families or organizations.
Over the last 28 years, as shown in this month’s cover
story on page 20, we have learned that the usefulness of a
Costco membership appeals to all types: In addition to
those small-business owners and large families, membership consists of seniors, empty-nesters, travelers and singles of all ages who find value not only in the products
they find at Costco, but in the services that Costco offers.
From the RVer who plots her trips around the United
States based on Costco gas station locations, to the new family that finds savings in the
Costco Auto Program, to the charitable souls who use Costco’s wealth of items to donate
to U.S. troops or their local church, the depth and breadth of Costco’s membership base
is as varied as the country’s populace itself.
Speaking of variety, readers will find a wide range of articles on the subject of home
furnishings in this issue, tying in with Costco’s semiannual furniture showcase (and
Costco.com’s year-round offerings). If you have trouble sleeping, experts offer tips on how
to design your bedroom to provide the most blissful sleep environment (page 35). If
designing your bedroom seems a financially daunting task, Frank Fontana, host of Design
on a Dime, has advice to help stretch your dollar further (page 49). If you’re tight on space,
stretch your home further with tips on how to set up a media room (page 55). And Pat
Volchok goes behind the scenes to showcase the enormous lengths Costco’s furniture
buyers go to ensure that every piece of furniture offered is of the highest quality (page 58).
Whatever your reason for using your Costco membership, we’ll see you at the warehouse and on Costco.com. And a happy July 4th to all! C
Ginnie Roeglin is Senior Vice
President, E-Commerce and
Publishing, and Publisher of
The Costco Connection.
from the editor’s desk
FINDING THE RIGHT word—or even just a few
words—to convey a concept can be … difficult?
Worrisome? Daunting? A pain in the neck? But such is
the sorry/exhilarating/frustrating/rewarding lot of those
who write headlines.
This fact became apparent this month as we tried to
boil down to a few words the concept of our cover story.
In a full sentence, here is the concept: According to con-
ventional wisdom, Costco members all have big families
(say, two or more kids), large vehicles and plenty of stor-
age space at home; but in reality plenty of them are
empty nesters, young marrieds without kids, singles and so on who are benefitting from
their Costco memberships.
So there you go— 45 words, punctuated with some commas, a pair of parentheses, a
semicolon and a period.
The challenge: boiling that down to the two to five words we typically deploy on the
cover (with the aid, generally, of a brief kicker, the small sentence or sentence fragment
that can serve as a lead-in to the cover head).
We tried “The company you keep: Costco members defy stereotype,” but that could
have been construed as a piece about members keeping their memberships year after
year, as the overwhelming majority does.
“Member motivations” seemed a bit flat for the cover, even though it had a good
kicker. It ended up as the central headline on our table of contents page, where it seems
to work much better.
There were other candidates. The winner, as you likely have seen, was “Simply
unique: Costco members defy stereotype.” It speaks to the kernel of the concept:
Describing the commonality among all Costco members is … hard? Fruitless? A waste
of time? Silly? There are nearly as many motivations for membership as there are people.
Briefly, each member’s reasons are simply unique. C
David W. Fuller is Assistant
Vice President, Publishing, and
Editor of The Costco Connection.
JULY 2011 The Costco Connection 7
David W. Fuller