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Industry Updates

Why the Costco Connection Resonates with Consumers

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A lot of people shop Costco Wholesale. And a lot of people read its monthly magazine.

The club store’s print publication, Costco Connection, enjoys a circulation of about 14.3 million copies per edition and has top brands such as Procter & Gamble (P&G), General Mills and others chomping at the bit to advertise. “Costco Connection allows us to reach tens of millions of engaged Costco members who view it as a trusted, helpful source of information,” P&G Spokesperson Damon Jones told CNN.

Costco Connection is America’s fourth-highest distributed magazine, according to leading magazine auditing firms.

Costco Connection is mailed to executive members — who spend $120 per year on a club subscription — for free. The magazine features cooking recipes, offers on travel and auto services, electronics and book reviews, ads for its Kirkland Signature private-label products and a range of home, health and lifestyle original content. 

Costco Connection is one way Costco sets itself apart from Amazon and Walmart, according to CNN. It also provides members with a “sense of belonging to the store,” and alerts them to “what’s new, what’s interesting and fun.” Recruiting new members every year and convincing existing ones to renew their annual subscription is essential to Costco’s business, the company said.

In addition to attracting and retaining members, the Connection helps drive sales. According to a 2017 reader survey by market research firm GfK MRI, more than half of the magazine’s subscribers buy a product because they saw it mentioned in Costco Connection.

Although the magazine is thriving, Costco says printing, shipping and other costs make it expensive to operate out of its headquarters in Issaquah, Wash. To reduce costs, Costco renegotiates print contracts and streamlines postal routes, according to CNN.