Costco CFO Implies Future Membership Fee Increase
According to Costco Chief Financial Officer Richard Galanti, "it's a question of when, not if."
During a Thursday earnings call, Richard Galanti, the CFO of Costco, seemed to suggest that the wholesale retailer might raise its membership fees at some point in the near future. Galanti was responding to an analyst who asked if a weak economic outlook influenced Costco's decision on the timing of a fee increase. Galanti said that economic considerations definitely played a role in the company's "thought process" on the matter.
In the past, Costco has increased its membership fees approximately every five years or so, with the most recent fee increase occurring in June 2017. It's possible that the company will raise fees again in the future, but there is no official information on when this might happen.
"What we've said again, and I'll say again, is that our view is all the parameters, as it relates to member loyalty and value proposition that we've improved to our member, we have no problem thinking about doing it and doing it ultimately," he said during the earnings call. "So it's a question of when, not if."
Galanti went on to say that Costco management believes the company is "in a very strong competitive position right now" and "if we have to wait a few months or several months, that's fine."