David and Susan Schwartz are two of the biggest fans of Costco in the world, yet they live in one of NYC’s smallest apartments (450 square feet). On a search to get answers to all things Costco, these superfans have visited over 200 of Costco’s 850 warehouses in 46 US states and thirteen countries! On this amazing adventure, they’ve experienced the behind-the-scenes magic of Costco from visiting depots, vendors, and even a pre-opening party, all in an attempt to get answers to pressing questions, such as how does Costco keep the price of its foot-long hot dog at $1.50?
Publication on September 12, 2023, is timed to coincide with the 40th anniversary of the opening of Costco’s first warehouse and this fall, they are planning a cross-country Costco-themed road trip from Yonkers, New York to Yorba Linda, California, stopping to visit their favorite retailer along the way.
Topics are covered in a whimsical A to Z format, using Q & A to cover topics ranging from Cashews and Chicken to Hot Dogs and Hawaii, targeted to delight the more than 120 million Costco members and over 300,000 dedicated Costco employees. The book includes fun facts such as:
- Costco sells more than half of the world’s cashews.
- It sells seven times more hotdogs than all US baseball stadiums combined.
- When Costco changed its source of salmon from Chile to Norway it impacted the economies of both countries.
- Costco sells six million pumpkin pies each year, but only between September and December.
- Why and when did Costco begin selling caskets to members?
When Schwartzes say they love the Costco experience, they mean it. Still, while a labor of love, the book is well-researched and delivers information in a fun, concise way. The layout and the presentation invite readers to browse or read straight through but the text goes beyond factoids to share great detail on subjects even the Costco faithful might never have thought of, such as how changing the sourcing of certain products has real implications on the economies of the areas that produce them, what goes into selecting books and seasonal items, and the incredible boost that Costco can give to manufacturers once it puts a product in stores. None of this nitty gritty insight is dry, and readers who are Costco regulars may find their familiar errands to get groceries transformed into an educated and informative shopping experience.
Among the most engaging sections are those that feature unique items in different states’ and countries’ Costcos, as well as products you might not have considered purchasing from the chain: a six-person dark room tent in Alaska, a $350,000 necklace in France, gold ingots in Iceland. This is a surprising, entertaining book on an everyday subject close to readers’ lives.
Takeaway: Fun, fascinating study of Costco, filled with surprises.
Comparable Titles: Larry Gerston’s The Costco Experience, Bertil Torekull’s Leading by Design.
Design and typography: A
Marketing copy: A