The membership-only, bulk- buying warehouse Costco tends to draw Willamette students to its doors. The store offers many different services to its members, including an optometrist, a pharmacy and a gas station. Costco appeals to WU students for a number of reasons, such as the value of the products sold or the samples, acting as a cost-effective snack. A few WU students shared their opinions about Costco and what makes it so enjoyable.
Laney Agodon (‘22), has been going to Costco since she was a young child. Originally from Seattle, Agodon frequents the Salem Costco for the experience rather than for specific grocery needs or free samples.
“There is no God in Costco,” Agodon said. “I just really like being there and browsing through so much random stuff. I don’t need a container of bulk Goldfish, but now it’s an option.”
There is some difficulty in enjoying the samples as a vegetarian, however. Agodon believes the sample offerings lack a lot of meat-free options.
Agodon has only been a Costco member for several months.
“I need to go more just for fun. It’s cathartic,” Agodon said.
Agodon is not alone in her enjoyment of browsing the large aisles of the warehouse. Noah Snizik (‘21), originally from Pittsburg, frequents Costco once or twice a month. Snizik not only goes to Costco for the experience, but they also go for the products available.
“Costco appeals to WU students for a number of reasons, such as the value of the products sold or the samples, acting as a cost-effective snack.”
“I like buying in bulk, I like the brands that they provide and honestly just walking around Costco for a while makes me happy,” Snizik said.
Their family has an executive membership (that allows multiple people to access Costco) that they have access to. The samples do have some appeal to Snizik.
“[The samples] are great,” Snizik said. “I’m very picky so I don’t always like everything, but I enjoy that they are an option.”
Brigit Walker (‘22), who began going to the Wilsonville Costco with her family six years ago, also sees the utility of Costco’s samples.
“There is no way I’m getting the food featured in the samples, but it holds back hunger while I shop so that I don’t end up buying more things I don’t need,” Walker said.
“Leggings and bralettes are what’s most attractive to me about Costco,” Walker said. “They get clothing from high quality manufacturers and it’s a decent price. Plus, the bralettes are lacy and cute.”
When home, Walker goes to Costco once every other week with her parents who have a membership. When she is in Salem, she uses her friend’s membership in exchange for driving to the store. She has only gone twice this year to Costco so far. Her only qualm with the warehouse store is the amount of packaging that is often found with bulk product.
Costco seems to be enjoyed by WU students for a variety of different reasons. However, being nearly three miles away from campus and only available to members, its popularity among students is understandably small. A poll conducted The Collegian’s Facebook page asking, “How many of you have regular access to the Salem Costco?” showed that 26 percent responded have regular access to Costco and 74 percent responded that they did not. Even though Costco is not the most accessible and popular store, its consumers are more than enthusiastic about it.