By Sherrie Newman
WHEN IT COMES to home improvement
projects, I have to admit I’m not a do-it-yourself kind of person. I much prefer to have an
expert do it for me to make sure it’s successful.
One of the best places to locate a professional is at Costco, in one of the nine Special
Order Kiosks located in most warehouses.
These unique spots help homeowners find
quality products and services to improve
The kiosks range from garage doors to
custom countertops (see “The Costco Kiosk
lineup”) and feature displays, brochures and
instructions on how to set up in-home consultations to help with the purchase process.
“Our Special Order Kiosk program is
about 10 years old,” says Bill Prescott, assistant
general merchandise manager of Special
in the warehouses, with product brochures
available at each location. One call to a toll-
free phone number and a dealer contacts a
member for a free in-home consultation.
Dealers also provide information on war-
ranties, rebates and any tax incentives for eco-
friendly products. Some dealers even provide
professional design consultants at no charge
to help with style suggestions, measurements
and project management to make sure mem-
bers are completely satisfied with the results.
Here’s a look at just a few of the services.
Leslie Phillips, buyer for the Special
Order Kiosks department, tells me a popular
product at all Costco kiosks (as well as online
at Costco.com) is Graber window treatments.
“This is a company well known for their reli-
ability and exceptional quality,” she tells me.
“This program has been very successful with
Christine Wolpert, national account
manager at Graber, explains, “We have been
in business since 1939, and are recognized as
a brand leader in high-quality custom win-
dow treatments, from energy-saving blinds
and shades to shutters and elegant drapery
for any home décor. We provide what we call
our ‘shop-at-home experience’ for Costco
members; our professional consultants col-
laborate full circle, from custom design to
installation and project completion, to help
Events and Kiosks, “and we’re continually
looking at new opportunities to provide our
members with a broader range of services to
assist with home improvement efforts and
save money on large purchases.”
Best in class
The Kiosk program is based on two key
components: the quality of the products and
the expertise of the dealers behind them. “We
look for top-tier national brands and recognized industry leaders in all services and products we offer,” says Justin Blackhurst, buyer in
the Special Order Kiosks department.
All dealers are insured and licensed and
have to be expertly trained not only in their
product lines, but in Costco’s code of conduct
and how to meet the expectations of Costco
members. “The dealers really act as brand
ambassadors for Costco, so we need to be sure
they are the best in their industry,” says Justin.
Costco also recently started a Project
Manager program to enhance customer service. “We assign key people to regions to work
directly with dealers,” explains Bill. “This provides an extra measure of oversight to continually review licensing compliance and
ensure ongoing education and coaching for
those dealers serving members.”
Costco makes it easy to access these services; kiosks are located next to the exits
fills this issue’s consumer reporter slot
with this behind-the-scenes look at
a Costco program.
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COSTCO PHOTO STUDIO / FRANCE FREEMAN
Upgrading your place with
Costco Special Order Kiosks