Costco - Fun Fact

The busiest Costco store in the world is in Iwilei, near downtown Honolulu, HI.

Google says:

Is Iwilei Costco the busiest in the world?

The Iwelei Costco on Oahu Island in Hawaii is the busiest in the world. Costco estimates that 1 in 4 residents of the island are Costco members, and with Oahu having a population of over 950,000, it’s easy to see why this location gets a lot of foot traffic.

So foot traffic. Wonder which Costco brick and mortar has the most in-person revenue.

I bet their gas lines are a joy.

I have not been to that Costco recently, however I can tell you what happens at our Costco on the BIg Island.

We only have 1 on the island the size of Connecticut. We have 200,000 people in the space of 4,000 sq miles. Because poeple are able to drive from the other side of the island to this one, they felt it was not ecconomical to build a second.

Saturday is a popular day at many places here because we have almost all the resorts and hotels and condos on our side. The majority of visitors come for a week or more, flying in. The condos and timeshares are often booked Saturday to Saturday. Arriving on Saturday they tend to check in and go shopping for the week, Saturday or Sunday. I see them buying snorkle equipment, standup paddle boards and all sorts of liquor and supplies. You should know that much of that stuff is left on island when they leave and is often shared amongst condo owners or staff. I have seen giant bottles of Cost-sized liquor left half full in rooms.

The gasoline used to be $1 a gallon cheaper at Costco then the next cheapest station nearby. If they fill up a couple times in a week here, that pretty much pays for a membership in savings. Then they sav on having their own liquor and buying rather than renting items.

I was invited to a beachside restaurant at a resort. This was a cheap place. I ordered a grilled cheese sandwhich and an iced tea. It was $30. Granted, it was a resort and a great ocean view, but $30. Being a local I would not go to a place like that unless meeting someone. I often get a $5 meal at the Scottish Restauranr (Mc Donalds) where the app gets me a couple burgers, buy one get one.

SO yes, Costco can save money and indeed it can be a lot more active in Hawaii. A regular weekend is one things, but imagine what happens here at Costco and even Walmart when Ironman happens in October. Five thousand participants, then their families, supporters, the support staff and film and TV crews, bicycle and sports gear companys and their support. They all eat and shop! We locals hide a week or so in advance and many stores stock extra (and seem to raise prices) right around that time. Costco doesn’t.

Saturday night at closing time, Costco was packed and the foor lines totaled over 30 people; this was after the entrance was closed.

Some items at Costco are more expensive than elsewhere, for example soda in cans. Not everybody needs 3 pounds of this or 5 pounds of that. If we can freeze it or leave it on our shelf, then it might get bought. I get many items that I cannot buy at a local supermarket and even if I can’t finish them, I still save if I have to throw some out.

On this island we have a couple of local supermarekets, a Target with food and a Walmart (not Super) with food. It is often cheaper to buy At Costco. Remember that on the mainland you can just divert a truck to another state. Here it is either locally grown or shipped in.

That’s really interesting insight on how shopping is so different on the islands. Thanks for sharing

I am sure that some people on the forum groan when I go somewhat off topic comparing Hawaii to other places like the mainland. However, most of our memebers here are U.S. based and most I think assume that most stores or locations operate similarly. I try to show some contrasts and let them know there is a whole other world out there. Many people have no idea that a state can be massively different from another.

We still get people who think that sending a letter here means it has to be an overseas stamp. No, just the regular stamp will do. Also, people wonder if their cellphone works here or if they need an electrical adapter. They pack clothes like they are moving here. I just tell them to pack light and go to Walmart.

Some things are different, but we ARE a U.S. state, whether some people here prefer it were not.

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I suspect that Hawaii and Alaska have some similar differences from the rest of the states.