Well, it is official, Costco is going to stop selling Apple products in 2011. During Costco’s fiscal first quarter earnings call CFO Richard Galanti confirmed that Costco is phasing out Apple products from their warehouses. As you may recall, I posted about this rumor a while ago. At that time, the rumor was that Costco was going to discontinue selling Apple products because they were not going to be allowed to sell the iPad, even though retailers like Target, Walmart and Sam’s Club, were already selling it.
Of course, it seems like perhaps there is the possibility that Costco was sick of Apple stacking the deck against them. Aside from Apple allowing other retailers to sell the iPad, there were other restrictions that Costco had to put up with to sell Apple products. Costco was not allowed to sell Apple products on the Costco.com website, like other retailers could, for starters. It seems like Apple had a lot of constraints on Costco that did not extend to other retailers. Also, Costco was unable to offer the deep discounts that they are known for and like to offer their customers. But of course, the split is being deemed as ‘mutual’, so it’s impossible to know what really led to the decision. And naturally, Apple has no comment.
So, really, what is to be gained by the relationship for Costco? While I know a lot of people that have picked up iPods or iTunes gift cards while at Costco, I have never heard anyone say that the only reason they shop at Costco was to purchase Apple products.
And by the way, just in case there’s a doubt about me playing favorites, I’m writing this post on my MacBook Pro. Not to mention, we have several iPhones and iPods too, and I kinda want an iPad as well. I’m a big fan of Apple products. However, I also think that their agreement with Costco sounds unappealing and like a bad deal for Costco; I’m surprised they ever agreed to it in the first place.
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