3 Ways Your Costco Experience Could Change in 2023

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  • The high cost of procuring goods could lead Costco to raise prices.
  • But the warehouse club might also be in a position to offer a wider range of products.

Things may look different for Costco shoppers in the new year.

For many people, shopping at Costco on a regular basis means racking up a lower credit card tab in the course of feeding their families and maintaining their households. But if you're a Costco regular, you may want to gear up for some potential changes in 2023. Here are a few that could come down the pike. 

1. Your membership costs could rise

Like many retailers, in recent months, Costco has seen its profit margins shrink due to the higher cost of procuring goods. But on its most recent earnings call, Costco acknowledged that its membership base grew nicely, and as such, it doesn't feel the need to raise its membership fees right now.

But that doesn't mean the cost of a membership won't increase in 2023. In fact, it's been over five years since Costco raised the price of a membership, so it's actually due for a bump. And also, Sam's Club recently raised its prices, so Costco may opt to piggyback on that move.

Either way, though, if Costco moves forward with a membership fee hike, it's unlikely it will be a drastic one. Right now, a basic Costco membership costs $60 a year, while an Executive membership costs double. If the warehouse club giant opts to raise these fees, members may be looking at $65 and $130, respectively. On an annual basis, that's not such a huge hike. 

2. You could end up spending more at the food court

This year, Costco raised the price of its chicken bake -- a popular food court item. If inflation continues to soar in 2023, we could see Costco food court prices rise across the board.

But one food item you don't have to worry about paying more for is the $1.50 hot dog and soda combo. Costco has pledged to keep that price point in place indefinitely. In fact, it's one of the things the warehouse club giant is expressly known for, so if you're not a stickler for the most nutritious lunch, you should still have the option to grab a $1.50 meal.

3. You might have a greater selection to choose from

In 2021, a number of supply chains got battered due to pandemic-related shutdowns. At this point, things are looking better, but there are still plenty of consumer goods in short supply. 

But in time, supply chains could recover and return to their pre-pandemic state. And that means some of the items that may have been missing from your local Costco's shelves in 2022 could reappear in 2023. 

Plus, there's a good chance Costco will expand on its existing inventory because that's something it just plain tends to do. And you can bet that whatever new items Costco introduces will be made available at a relatively competitive price point.

What's in store for 2023?

Without a crystal ball, we can't say with certainty that Costco will raise its membership fees and food court prices. And its selection may not improve all that much if supply chain issues persist. But if you're an avid Costco shopper, you may want to gear up for slightly higher prices -- and also, carve out some room in your budget in case Costco comes through with an exciting array of new offerings.

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