Whether it’s for holiday gifting, back-to-school shopping or just picking up some everyday wardrobe staples, more and more shoppers are turning to an unlikely source for their clothes: Costco Wholesale.
What You Need To Know Before Buying Costco Clothes
Costco is a bigger name in apparel than you probably realize. If you’ve never picked up some threads at the warehouse club, here’s an introduction to what it offers.
1. Costco Sells a Lot of Clothes
The chain says it sold more than $7 billion in clothing and footwear in 2019. That was more than other better-known clothing retailers like Old Navy, Neiman Marcus and Ralph Lauren do, The Washington Post reported.
Costco CFO Richard Galanti commented on what he sees as the secret behind the store’s booming apparel sales:
“We can go in and buy huge quantities of something where the manufacturer’s volumes have been cut by other merchants and really drive great value and people love it and … give even a greater value to the customer.”
2. There Are No Fitting Rooms
Costco sells clothes the way you’d probably expect: piled up on tables with not a lot added to call your attention to the merchandise.
For a store that has a multi-billion dollar apparel business, Costco doesn’t make a lot of accommodations for clothes shoppers. In fact, you won’t find any fitting rooms, window displays or mannequins sporting the latest fashions.
But the warehouse club’s return policy is legendary for its leniency, which kind of negates the need for fitting rooms in the first place.
If you buy something and later find you don’t like it, just bring it back to the store on your next trip for a full refund.
3. Costco Has Its Own Clothing Line
Kirkland Signature is Costco’s in-store brand for everything from batteries to bread. You’ll also find the Kirkland Signature label on a variety of apparel items including pants, shirts, socks, underwear and more.
4. The Markup on Clothing Is Capped at 15%
Costco is known for its low markups on products across the board. For Kirkland Signature items, the markup is capped at 15%. That means if the store’s cost on a Kirkland Signature shirt is $10, it will be priced at no more than $11.50.
Meanwhile, 14% is the ceiling for brand name markups. So if Costco gets a pair of Calvin Klein pants for $18, the maximum price tag you will see will be a little more than $20.
5. Costco Secret: Look for the 97s
There’s a secret pricing signal you should look for when buying Costco clothes — or anything at Costco for that matter.
When you see anything that ends in 97 cents at Costco, that means it’s being sold below cost.
As a general rule, you’ll find most of the 97s in the seasonal section, located in the back third of the middle of the store. But keep your eyes peeled for select discount items in apparel, too.
Real Reviews From People Who Buy Costco Clothes
Turns out Costco clothes are a big hit with our readers. Most of the comments we received from people who have purchased Costco clothing were overwhelmingly positive.
Here’s what people had to say:
Cyndee McIntosh Banister: “I have purchased quite a few items of clothing for both my teenage sons and myself. Recently I bought 2 pair of slacks for me at $9.99 each and they are very comfortable and well made. My boys have loved their jackets, shirts and underwear.”
JoggnMomma: “I routinely buy Capri pants at Costco. What I have often found is that if I like them, I’ll go back to get more colors quickly because once they’re gone, they’re gone.”
Woody20164: “If you like something they sell, buy a good stock, because they may not carry it again. I love their Haggar slacks, but when I needed more, they weren’t selling them. They always have staples… socks, underwear, etc., but fashion items sometimes disappear.”
Noit Cejer: “Most of our work wardrobe is Kirkland brand. Blouses, shirts, jeans, slacks, sweaters, shoes. Most are business look ready. Easy fashion at an affordable price in one trip. As far as jeans and slacks, once I find something that fits, I usually grab 3-4 of it. The quality and durability has lasted for years saving us even more money.”
Lorilu: “I have found many great bargains in Costco clothing. There are excellent values and great quality in almost every category of clothing, and also in seasonal items like winter boots and summer sandals. The men’s dress shirts are an especially good value, at less than $20. If you don’t find the size or color you want, many items are available online, often with no shipping cost.”
Joanne Jackson Mears: “I have bought many clothing items at Costco. My favorite lightweight, packable winter coat, many 32 Degree items, extremely comfortable wool socks, exercise clothing, name-brand pajamas that are wonderful. I recommend Costco clothing to a lot of friends and family members.”
Mark Brown: “I spend a lot of money at Costco, but everything clothing or shoe wise I have returned due to ill fitting or sized incorrectly. I believe most of the clothes are seconds.”
Jim White: “Though I find some items acceptable thru Costco – I have bought items thru Costco that I would not consider even 3rd rate – the quality was so poor with a major branding name on the package.”
Costco may not be the first place you think of when it comes to buying clothes. But with its low markups, the warehouse club can be a good place to stock up on clothing staples or even for the occasional wardrobe splurge.
Plus, with that great return policy, many people find they can buy with confidence even when there are no fitting rooms to try on the clothes.
YOUR TURN: Have you bought Costco clothes before? What do you think of the price, quality and your shopping experience overall? Write in with a comment in our Clark.com community and let us know!
Meanwhile, to learn about the best deals and coupons at Costco Wholesale this month, visit ClarkDeals.com!