An Adventure to Costco Wholesale (Part 1)

If you are from the U.S., you should be very familiar with wholesale shopping malls where things are sold in stacks. Costco Wholesale is a one of the big wholesale channels from the U.S. and is now running in many parts of the world. You can buy things in big quantities on lower price. In South Korea, 12 branches are currently operating. Last Saturday, my friend and I visited one of the branches in Yangjae (양재점), and thought it is worth sharing. Today’s post will be about what is it like to shop at Costco in South Korea and some recommendations on items you might be interested in purchasing.

Before going on to the point, a brief information is given below.

  • The nearest branch from our campus is in SangBong (상봉) near Sangbong Station (상봉역). It would take less than 30 minutes by train (the Jung-ang Line; 중앙선).
  • In order to enter the mall, you should have a membership card. An annual membership fee is 30,000 Won for business membership and 35,000 Won for goldstar membership. You can make a card either from the entrance desk or on the internet.
  • Opening hour varies depending on the branches.
  • Since things are sold in packages, I recommend to shop at Costco if you are going to purchase things together with friends and split the bill. Also, it is very crowded on weekends and daytime, so it will not be easy to find a parking spot.

I went to Yangjae branch since it is the nearest one from my house. It will take approximately 50 minutes from HYU campus. I used to go to Costco with Mom by car, so it was the first time to go by public transportation. I took bus #917 from Dogok Station (도곡역), and had to walk for another 15 minutes beside a carriage way. There are other ways to get to the mart, and if you are planning to go to Yangjae branch, I recommend to ride a bus from Yangjae Station (양재역) since it is faster and safer :-/

2 shopping cart

Next to the entrance, I got this huge shopping trolley. I was excited to think how to fill this cart.

3 inside the store

The inside looks like a warehouse rather than a mall. The first thing you would see are electronics such as laptops, cameras, air conditioners, etc. You can see how the items are all stacked up in high selves.

4 inside the store 2

It was funny to watch all the boys obsessed with new tablet PCs.

5 summer equipment

As I walked a little bit more, I could see summer equipment taking a large sector of the store.

6 surfing 7 beach 8 sunbrella

Item Recommendation #1: Pretty parasols (sunbrella) are one good way to avoid sunburn.

9 telescope

I have visited Costco several times, but it was my first time seeing them selling an astronomical telescope. Wow!

10 fitbit

Fitbit is a type of smart watch, but I did not get how to use this properly. ;(

11 ginseng

Item Recommendation #2: If you are wondering what to buy for family back home, Ginseng capsules should be a good option as an exotic gift.

12 rice

See how much rice Koreans consume!

13 diablo

Item #3: Costco sells a lot of imported goods. If you are going to have a small party with friends or just started missing home, Costco will give you enough choices on wine, beer and vodka.

14 escalator

I think it is not a good idea to go to Costco on weekends. I had to wait on line to go down the escalator… but waiting downstairs is FOOD!

Unfortunately, I have to divide the post into two parts because I am running out of time. I am sorry, if you have been looking forward to reading about Bulgogi packed in a large box. My next post will be all and only about food they sell, food I ate, food I want to recommend!


Article by Sangeun from Korea, a Junior in Business Administration

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