WKYT Investigates: Costco vs. Sam's Club

With the doors open to Lexington

MGN Online

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) – With the doors open to Lexington's first Costco, the battle of the warehouse clubs intensifies with the arrival of the main rival for Sam's Club.

After months of construction, the membership warehouse club at Polo Club and Man O' War Boulevard store sells everything from groceries to jewelry.

Like Sam's Club, shoppers need to buy a membership. The Costco membership yearly fees range from $55 to $110 compared to $45 to $100 at Sam's Club.

In addition to selling a range of household goods and groceries, the Lexington Costco store has a food court, gas station, hearing aids and optical departments, pharmacy, and tire service center.

The company's first location, opened in 1976 under the Price Club name, was in a converted airplane hangar on Morena Boulevard in San Diego. Originally serving only small businesses, the company found it could achieve far greater buying clout by also serving a selected audience of non-business members. With that change, the growth of the warehouse club industry was off and running. In 1983, the first Costco warehouse location was opened in Seattle.

To find the differences between Costco and Sam's Club, WKYT's Rebecca Smith did a price check comparing dozens of products a typical family uses including snacks, detergent, and beauty products.

Cheerios, two-box set
Costco: $5.79
Sam's Club: $5.78

Stacy's Pita Chips
Costco: $5.49 for 28 ounces
Sam's Club: $4.98 for 24 ounces

Heinz ketchup (three package)
Costco: $6.19
Sam's Club: $6.23

Pepsi, 36 12-ounce cans
Costco: $8.99
Sam's Club: $9.98

Laundry detergent (store brand)
Costco: $13.99 for 120 loads
Sam's Club: $13.98 for 146 loads

Driscoll's Strawberries
Costco: $4.99
Sam's Club: $6.98

Bounty paper towels (12 rolls)
Costco: $19.99
Sam's Club: 25.78

Brita water filters
Costco: $34.99 for ten
Sam's Club: $32.86 for eight

White Dove Soap
Costco: $11.74 for 16 bars
Sam's Club: $13.13 for 14 bars

Arm & Hammer Baking Soda
Costco: $6.59
Sam's Club: $5.66

Cetaphil cleaner
Costco: $16.99
Sam's Club: $18.98

One A Day Women's Vitamins
Costco: $13.79
Sam's Club: $13.82

Grand Total
Costco: $149.53
Sam's Club: $158.16

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