Issaquah-based Costco increases membership fees

October 6, 2011

By Staff

NEW — 8 a.m. Oct. 6, 2011

Issaquah-based Costco increased membership fees 10 percent as the largest warehouse-club chain in the United States offsets rising costs.

The increase, effective Nov. 1, ups annual individual, or Gold Star, and business memberships from $50 to $55. Costco also plans to increase Executive Membership fees from $100 to $110 next month.

Costco said the fee increases impact more than 22 million members, about half of them in the Executive Membership program.

Members in the executive program also receive up to a 2 percent annual reward on purchases. The company increased the maximum reward from $500 to $750 as part of the fee hike.

The company last raised individual and business membership fees in 2006. Company executives announced the latest hike Wednesday.

Costco’s profit margins narrowed in the most recent fiscal quarter as the company faced higher costs for cotton, gasoline, meat and other goods offered at the chain’s 592 warehouses around the globe.

Costco is the largest employer in Issaquah. The company employs about 2,700 people in Issaquah corporate offices and at the flagship warehouse in Pickering Place.

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