That Costco card in your wallet unlocks a bevy of buy-it-in-bulk savings every year, but when it comes time to renew your membership, you may get an unpleasant surprise. Analysts with investment banking firm Stifel say the warehouse club is primed for a membership-fee hike. (Not already a Costco member? You can apply here.)
How much more might you have to fork over next year? The most likely scenario, analysts say: $5 more for the base-level Gold Star membership, and $10 more for the executive membership that includes cash-back rewards. That would bump annual membership prices to $65 and $130, respectively.
Costco has been riding high thanks to customers stocking their pantries during the pandemic, and analysts say that's precisely why they're forecasting a price hike. Costco raised membership prices in 2006, 2011, and 2017, and each time, its shares outperformed the S&P 500 in the prior year. Other analysts say Costco simply seems to raise prices at roughly 5-year intervals, making an increase in the latter half of 2022 seem likely.
Related: How Non-Members Can Shop at Costco
Costco was recently in the news for ending its senior shopping hours, only to reverse course a few weeks later thanks to a recent rise in COVID-19 cases. The policy was instituted in March 2020 to give more vulnerable shoppers a chance to stock up without battling crowds. Costco was also among the first retailers to require masks in its stores, a rule it has since dropped in favor of following state and local mandates.
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