Costco memberships are about to get more expensive
Costco is expected to raise its membership fees by nearly 10%, according to UBS analysts.
The retailer will likely increase its annual fees from $55 to $60 for its basic membership and from $110 to $120 for its executive membership, analysts said in a research note following a meeting with top Costco executives including the company's chief financial officer, Richard Galanti.
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The change is expected to happen in late 2016 or early 2017.
"If its comp were to dramatically slow in the meantime or if there were some major macro disruption, it might delay this increase," analysts wrote. "But, it sounds like that's not likely."
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Costco has historically raised its membership fees every five to six years, and the last time the retailer raised its fees was in November 2011. Costco did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The fee increases shouldn't have a major impact on membership renewals and sales, according to analysts.
"We believe Costco's price transparency, limited [product] offering, and attractive membership structure have helped lend it a level of consistency that's rare in the world of hardline and broadline retail," analysts wrote. "While its traffic has lost some luster as of late, there's a good case it can sustain 3-4% growth for a while."
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