The battle of buying in bulk

Which warehouse grocery store is superior?

More stories from Lizzy Mason


Costco v. Sam’s Club

Grocery shopping that requires a membership? Unlike other grocery stores, Sam’s Club and Costco both provide their items in bulk so buyers can stock up. But which wholesale store is superior?

Each store is considered a ‘club’ because they both obligate their customers to obtain a membership, making it exclusive to those customers. They are given membership cards that are checked when entering the store and when checking out. Items cannot be bought without a membership.

Both stores also contain a small food court which allows customers without a membership to eat at. Surprisingly, they both offer a hotdog and soda combo for $1.50. Costco also offers more interesting things to choose such as a BBQ brisket sandwich and a chicken bake, whereas Sam’s club has items like a bacon cheeseburger and churros.

“I definitely prefer Sam’s Club hot dogs to Costco,” Grace Santucci (‘20) said.

The two stores are actually quite similar when it is considered, they each are a membership-only store, they sell rather comparable food, and they sell their items in bulk.

“I don’t even shop at bulk stores because I don’t have a huge family,” Nevaeh Gasparovic (‘20) said.

One thing that sets the two apart are their house brand. Costco’s is Kirkland Signature and Sam’s Club is Member’s Mark. These house brands sell the store’s version of products, these can range from canned goods to basic household necessities.

However, (arguably one of the most important points) is the price of the actual membership. For Sam’s Club it is an annual $45 for their regular membership and $100 for their plus membership. For Costco, their membership is $60 for the basic membership and $120 for their upgraded membership.

Despite their food court options and their house brand items, both stores are relatively similar and it comes down to personal opinion at that point.

For those who like to buy in bulk, Sam’s Club and Costco are just two of the more popular bulk stores, on the other hand, stores like Aldi and Bulk Nation are other options as well.