Costco seems to be everyone's darling. Of course, it's been my darling for years. It's got great stuff, great prices, great staff, even wonderful employee policies. But in the past week I've read two very loving profiles of the biggest of the big box stores in publications ranging from State of Grace -- the blog of the remarkable Grace Davis, to the Sunday New York Times.
There are lots of reasons for this I think. Of course there are the usual ones: excellent quality, bulk discounts on staples like paper towels, excellent store brand tee shirts (say some of the men in my life), remarkable produce, and pretty good everything else.
It's also fun. At the ones around Washington DC, and the ones we used to go to in LA, I always feel like I'm at the UN. Once, during the women's World Cup, we walked in to find, gathered around the television section, an enthusiastic crowd that looked as if they were from every country in the world. Mexico, the Philippines, India, Japan -- just everywhere - all cheering together. It's always like that. Big families, couples, singles, mom and pop restaurateurs, hipsters, geeks -- everyone. Even Douglas Coupland. In my favorite of his books, Microserfs, he writes "my universe consists of home, Microsoft, and Costco."
It's also home to one of my favorite Simpsons scenes ever: the family almost drowned when they ran into and broke all the giant bottles of cranberry juice in an aisle display and an ocean of juice flooded the store.
OH and I forgot books. Best sellers, cook books, thrillers - if they've got something you want, they've got it for less than anywhere else.
So carry on oh noble vendor -- serving us well and offering us entertaining distractions (if you can park) on Sunday afternoons. We knew you even before the New York Times. But before that? What did we ever do without you?