Why Costco Doesn't Have Express Checkout Lanes
Costco's CEO W. Craig Jelinek weighs in.
You walk into Costco to pick up a bottle of Kirkland Signature Extra Virgin Olive Oil and a set of towels, and find yourself waiting in a lengthy line with people pushing carts towered high with their warehouse sweep plunder. Sound familiar?
If you've ever wondered why Costco doesn't have an express lane, you're not alone. There have even been Reddit threads on the topic. But W. Craig Jelinek, President and CEO of Costco, has actually chimed in with why they don't offer these lanes.
"Costco's ability to sell merchandise at incredibly low prices is based on adhering to various operating disciplines at every turn. Instead of having an express line—that often would be open but without a member in line—we have invested millions of dollars to speed up the entire front-end process," he told Consumer Reports in 2014. "Our policy is 'no more than one (member) in line and two (members waiting) behind.' The average completed front-end transaction is just over 1 minute." Unfortunately, most of us have encountered a long line at Costco and stood there for minutes as we've watched things inch forward.
For Costco members, there is, however, one way to get Express Checkout. Drumroll please...
WATCH: This Costco Shopping Tip Is a Game Changer
Online! Members can use Express Checkout to place orders more quickly online. Of course, online shopping may not be as fun as cruising through the store's giant aisles in person, but it allows you to ship items to a default address using a saved payment method so you can submit your order in only a few clicks. Costco may have some stellar deals, but time, after all, is money, too.