Costcois the 5th largest retail outlet in the United States. The companyhas over 457 stores, most of which are in the United States. Thecompany also has stores in countries like the United Kingdom, Japan,Canada, South Korea and Taiwan. Unlike other retail outlets, Costcois a membership club where members pay an annual subscription fee.This has enabled the company to offer lower prices for most of itsgoods. Their customers are hence able to buy products at lower pricesthan what they would from other retail outlets. Costco does not markup any branded product by more than 14 %, and this has enabled thestore to offer lower prices for the same merchandise than most oftheir competitors (Schiffman, Kanuk & Wisenblit, 2010).
Thereare five social class statuses that have been identified over theyears. They are measured using income, single variable index,subjective measures, education, objective measures and occupation.
Thissocial class consists of the celebrities, top CEO’S and top levelexecutives. They earn more than $500000. The people who belong tothis social class have an Ivy League education. Only a smallpercentage of the population belongs to this class. Research hasshown that only 1% of the entire population belongs to this socialclass (Schiffman, Kanuk & Wisenblit, 2010).
Theupper middle class
Thissocial class consists of about 15 % of the entire population. Thepeople who belong to this social class are managers andprofessionals. They earn a 5 figure salary from $100000 and have atleast a graduate degree.
Thelower middle class
Thisconsists of 32% of the population and consists mainly ofsemi-professionals with basic college education. They earn around$35000 to $750000 (Schiffman, Kanuk & Wisenblit, 2010).
Thissocial class makes up about 32% of the population. They have basichigh school education and earn $16000 to $30000. They occupy mostblue and pink collar jobs.
Theymakeup from 14% to 20% of the population and occupy most of the worstpaying jobs in the economy. Most have basic education and they mainlyrely on government transfers to make a living(Schiffman,Kanuk & Wisenblit, 2010).
Thereal Costco shoppers belong to the lower middle class and the workingclass. This because these two social classes can comfortably affordthe $45 subscription fees charged in order to become a Costco member.In addition, these two social classes are also family oriented(Carlson,2011). This means that they will seize any opportunity that allowsthem to save money. Costco offers their merchandise at lower pricescompared to their main competitors. This has encouraged lower middleclass and working class people to choose Costco as their idealshopping store. Costco also has stores in every major town in theunited states. As such, Costco customers do not have to travel forlong distances whenever they want to do their shopping. This allowstheir customers to save on fuel costs since these two social classesare willing to seize any opportunity that allows them to save. Theyalso be able to find a wide range of products in one stop since theystock a wide range of household products at very affordable prices.
Thereal Costco shoppers are mostly made up of lower middle-class peopleand working class people. This due the fact that they are in aposition to afford the annual subscription fees them to save.
Carlson,M. J. (2011). Socialclass and changing families in an unequal America.Stanford, Calif.: Stanford University Press.
FlexibleSpending Account. (n.d.). Welcometo Costco Wholesale.Retrieved September 1, 2014, from http://www.costco.com/
Schiffman,L. G., Kanuk, L. L., & Wisenblit, J. (2010). Consumerbehavior(10th ed.). Upper Saddle River, N.J.: Pearson Education/PrenticeHall.