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TWO of the most popular retailers in the world are Walmart and Costco, both known for their low prices and special offers not found in other stores.
In recent years, competition between the two giants has increased. However, there are stark differences between the two retailers that many might not notice.
Costco and Walmart are two of the biggest retail giants in the US, however, there are huge differences between the twoCredit: Getty
From food to self-checkouts, each store has its own experience to offer customersCredit: Getty
For example, Walmart was founded back in 1962 and now boasts over 5,000 total stores. Costco was founded in 1976 as Price Club before being known as Costco in 1983.
Costco runs over 800 warehouses worldwide.
FOOD COURT & RESTAURANTS
One major difference between the two stores is their food offerings. Costco is known for its beloved food courts, allowing members to partake in treats after shopping.
Customers can enjoy $1.50 hot dogs, pizza and the famous onion crank on the iconic menu across its warehouses.
In Walmart, depending on which side of the store you enter from, you might come across a restaurant inside the superstore.
Fast-food chains such as Wendy’s, Saladworks, Frutta Bowls and Shawarma Press have occupied space inside the stores.
Walmart is known for its line of Great Value products, which includes food and cleaning products. Generic label aside, the products are cheaper than name-brand options.
Reddit users explained their preference for the cheaper products, with one user writing, “Great value ice cream. Cheaper, can’t tell the difference…Can say the same for their juices, breads, chips, cookies, etc. Just about everything.”
On the Costco side, their exclusive brand of products falls under the Kirkland Signature line, offering a wider variety of products than Walmart.
Aside from household, grocery and personal care items, Kirkland Signature also has sunglasses, mattresses and hoodies with the logo.
Like Great Value, Kirkland Signature has a big fanbase on Reddit with hers bragging about getting the hoodies on the company’s website.
When it comes to self-checkout, Walmart takes the cake. The superstore hopes to replace traditional conveyor belt registers with more self-checkout stations.
The company stated that the plan is to make checking out less complicated. An experimental store design at a supercenter in Arkansas got rid of all of its traditional registers in 2020.
The machines have green lights that show which station is available in an effort to speed up the checkout process.
Costco hasn’t quite caught up in this venture. There are individual checkout stations in the warehouses, but the numbers don’t compare to Walmart.
FREE SAMPLES DIFFERENCES
Receiving a free sample is the highlight of any shopper’s day. Costco, however, takes it to another level.
Members can expect to see free sample areas around the warehouse, especially on a Saturday. Products such as Lindt chocolate, pumpkin cheese case and even prime rib may be offered.
Walmart uses the Freeosk system, a fully automated experience where customers can use “freebie vending machines” to receive the items.
Customers can also use the Freeosk app to get a sample of an in-store item delivered straight to their homes.
Over 1.6million employees work for Walmart in the US with a total of 2.3million global employees. Costco has fewer employees, with 189,000 in the US and 288,000 worldwide.
At Walmart, the minimum wage is around $12 an hour, however, Costco raised its minimum wage to $17 an hour.
Employees at Costco also tend to stay at the company and get promoted from within, earning them a relatively low turnover rate.
“Most workers are covered by the company’s benefits plan which includes a 401(k), health insurance, dental insurance, drug plan, vision care and others,” said Investopedia.
At Costco, customers can receive free samples from multiple stations with a variety of productsCredit: Getty
Meanwhile, Walmart is working to create a fast and seamless self-checkout experience for shoppersCredit: Getty
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