Would you buy peanut butter in bulk or build your own desk to get a good deal? Do you have an unhealthy obsession with a quirky, private-label grocery store with no sales? From Costco to Ikea to Trader Joe’s, here are the secrets behind some of your favorite retailers — and how they get you to spend so much money before you walk out the door.
Episodes featured in this Hooked Marathon:
00:00 — Intro
01:07 — Costco
With over 94 million Costco members worldwide, chances are you know a Costco addict. There are Instagram accounts devoted to Costco, like @costcodeals, and websites, like CostcoInsider.com. Costco has even become a travel destination and – for one couple – a place to get married. Buying in bulk isn’t for everyone, but Costco members love the wholesale club because it makes you feel like you’re getting a good deal.
“Some of their customer base is absolutely addicted to Costco — absolutely addicted to the experience and the brands and the thrill of going to Costco,” Patricia Hong, partner at the global management consulting firm A.T. Kearney, tells CNBC Make It. That’s by design — inspiring obsession is all part of Costco’s playbook. Here’s how Costco gets you hooked.
10:22 — Ikea
Ikea was founded in 1943 by a young Swedish man named Ingvar Kamprad. Today, there are 433 stores in 53 countries. The name Ikea comes from Ingvar’s first and last initial, the farm he grew up on — Elmtaryd — and the village he lived near — Agunnaryd. Initially the company started by selling pencils and postcards. In 1948, it began selling furniture, and the rest is history. In fiscal year 2019, Ikea sold 7 million Billy bookcases, and brought in $45 billion in retail sales.
24:56 — Trader Joe’s
Trader Joe’s bucks much of the general wisdom of typical grocery stores in the U.S. — it doesn’t do sales or coupons, has no self-checkout, no loyalty cards, and almost always has a nightmare-ish line at check-out. Here’s how it was successful anyway.
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Why You Spend So Much Money At Costco, Ikea & Trader Joe’s | Hooked Marathon