While Costco has been a popular option for bulk shopping, some alternatives might be more beneficial.
If you are looking for more value and convenience in your next shopping trip, consider checking out these warehouse club favorites!
13 Stores Similar To Costco In 2023
1. Sam’s Club/ Walmart
When customers think of wholesale stores that remind them of Costco, the first to pop into their mind is probably Sam’s Club. In fact, in some areas, Sam’s Club is more well-known than Costco.
Sam’s Club is an umbrella company under Walmart, and the company’s main method of competing with Costco.
For an annual membership of $45, Sam’s Club Shoppers have access to a bulk selection of food, clothing, office supplies, and other products at lower prices than other stores (excluding Costco).
In addition to the yummy free samples Sam’s Club offers on weekends, there are many members-only advantages such as the following:
- Access to the Tire & Battery Center
- Access to the Discount Optical Center
- Exclusive discounts at the Sam’s Club Gas Station
- Plus Members can earn cashback on purchases
- Plus Members have free shipping on online orders
- Eligible members in good standing can earn a Sam’s Club Mastercard, which gives 5% cashback on certain purchases
2. BJ’s Wholesale Club
Nearly as well-known as Costco and Sam’s Club is BJ’s Wholesale Club. At BJ’s, there are three tiers for membership: The Inner Circle, Perks Rewards, and Business Memberships.
As an Inner Circle Member, you pay $55/yr and are provided a complimentary membership for a family member or friend. At BJ’s locations, members have access to groceries, electronics, furniture, and more.
In addition to saving 25% compared to other grocery stores, members have access to a number of exclusive perks, including the following:
- Complimentary maintenance for life on tires purchased at the BJ’s Auto Center Members-only benefits on AT&T Wireless, internet, and TV service
- Save 20% on Whirlpool appliances plus FREE delivery, installation, and removal
- Member-only discounts on travel destinations and cruises
- Free shipping on contact lenses and eyeglasses from BJ’s Optical
- 50% off identity protection from IdentityForce
- Home water delivery by ReadyFresh plus a $30 BJ gift card after signing up for service
3. Makro (South Africa)
Outside of the US, wholesale and retail shopping is just as popular, and in South Africa, Makro is the country’s wholesale equivalent to Costco.
Initially, the Makro brand began solely as a chain of wholesale stores belonging to a larger parent company. However, operations have expanded over the years to offer savings online as well.
In 2011, Makro merged with two other discount retailers, Massmart and Walmart, a merger that allowed the company to make prices even more competitive in the wholesale market.
Customers who shop at Makro have access to the mCard and mRewards program, which allows them to earn exclusive rewards and discounts on the following:
- General Merchandise
Additionally, members can receive cashback by downloading and using the app when making purchases.
4. Lidl (UK)
Lidl (the UK equivalent to Costco) is a discount food store with some of the lowest prices on grocery, household goods, health & beauty items, baby products, and pet care items.
With exclusive benefits found on their free rewards app, Lidl Plus, shoppers have access to the following:
- Coupons only accessible through the app
- Unlock bonus savings when you exceed your spending goal
- Scratch and win savings
- Digital receipts
- Benefits from Lidl partners
- A digital savings card
5. Wholesale Club (Canada)
In Canada, Wholesale Club is a retailer that is exclusive to foodservice business owners. Although membership is not needed to shop in their stores or on the website, it is encouraged.
For members of Wholesale Club, some benefits are specifically targeted towards business owners, such as the following:
- Special business-friendly hours
- Club Assembly Plus (CAP) in store retrieval and packaging of orders by store employees before pickup to save you time
- Special orders available from a registry of over 7000 items
- The ability to set up a charge account or use your PC(R) debit/credit card to earn special rebates
6. PriceSmart (Jamaica)
Another wholesale retailer popular outside of the US is PriceSmart. With four tiers to choose from, PriceSmart offers a membership to fit any shopper’s budget.
Shoppers are able to enjoy savings on similar bulk items found in other stores. Additionally, there are also membership exclusive perks available like:
- Access to high quality products from all over the globe
- Most purchases can earn up to 2% cashback capped at $500/yr.
- Special preferred parking areas for pick up on online purchases
- Exclusive high-quality products are available in the Members Selection section
- Access to unique limited products
7. City Club (Mexico)
As a wholesale club, City Club in Mexico is a recent addition. First opened in 2002, City Club locations are the Mexican equivalent of Costco and Sam’s club.
With 34 locations across Mexico, City Club offers excellent value on products for businesses and families that consume a lot.
At City Club, members are rewarded for making large purchases. For each purchase over $2000, members receive 2% cashback in their e-wallet to use on future purchases.
8. Africa Imports
Although this retailer is different from the other wholesale clubs (they do not sell food items), they have been in business for over 20 years.
At Africa Imports, you can make either resale or wholesale purchases; wholesale prices are for businesses or individuals reselling items, and retail prices are for personal use.
Unlike other wholesale clubs, there is a $100 minimum purchase required to receive wholesale pricing. Africa import sells African clothing, soaps, incense, instruments, and other ethnocentric products.
In addition to being a wholesaler, Africa Imports also teaches you how to set up your own business selling products from their catalog.
Even though Target may not be considered a discount store to some, customers have still been able to save quite a bit at their stores over the years, savings that even rival those found at Walmart or Costco.
Not only does Target have weekly deals that can be found on their website under the “Deals” section, but there are also exclusive benefits for Target Circle and Red Card holders.
When you use Target Circle deals, you will find savings exclusive to you based on past purchases.
For example, one customer may acquire deals full of digital coupons for baby care products, health foods, and/or pet care products.
For members with either a Red Card debit/credit card, you receive exclusive benefits such as the following:
- 5% off purchases at Target locations, Starbucks, on gift cards and Target.com
- Free shipping on most website items
- Special deals on products
- An additional 30 days to make returns
10. Trader Joes
Trader Joe’s is a specialty grocery store that offers high-quality items with an affordable price tag. They have a wide range of products from cookware to foodstuffs that will make your meals tastier and more enjoyable.
When you think of Trader Joe’s, you may not really see them as a discount store because they are of such high quality.
However, for the specialty items that these stores carry, you receive extreme savings. You save so much because, rather than seeing a lot of pricey brand names, you see mostly Trader Joe private label items.
Also, the store tests products for taste and quality before placing them in their stores, they buy in bulk and haggle to get the best price, passing savings on to shoppers.
In addition to not charging suppliers shelf fees (which raises prices), Trader Joe’s promptly removes the underperforming product from their shelves.
When looking for inexpensive fruits, veggies, and specialty foods, many consumers turn to Aldi. Much like Trader Joe’s, most of the store items at Aldi are private label items, which helps translate to lower costs and savings for shoppers.
In addition, products that are not store-brand are constantly cycling in and out of the store. Aldi Finds is like finding hidden treasure at the grocery store because you never know what they will feature next.
Additionally, Aldi saves money because of certain operational features like charging for carts and shopping bags. By paying a quarter for a cart, you are encouraged to bring it back into the store in order to get the quarter back.
If you return your cart, Aldi doesn’t need a staff member to do it, and rather than pay for a plastic bag, you can bring a reusable bag. Overall, both these operational practices help control cost in Aldi stores.
12. Sprouts Farmers Market
Sprouts Farmers Market is an inexpensive place to buy fresh, healthy foods. There are many ways to save at Sprouts, from digital coupons to sales items and exclusive app deals.
Additionally, the company website has a Deals of The Month section. In this section, you can find featured monthly specials on all kinds of grocery items.
13. Cub Foods (Minnesota, USA)
Another regional discount grocery store is Cub Foods. As the brand grows, they offer many new and convenient benefits like an improved website and delivery through Instacart.
With the My Cub Rewards App and discount card, shoppers get access to the following perks:
- Pre-loaded Cub Kickbacks manufacturer discounts
- Digital coupons that can be accessed via the Cub app or loaded on the discount card
- Earn points from purchases redeemable at Holiday Station Stores.
- Sweepstakes that you can earn prizes from
- Discounts on tickets to local attractions
To know more about Costco, you can also see our posts on Costco’s target market, Walmart vs. Costco, and if China owns Costco.
As the warehouse club membership and discount store market is expanding, it’s essential to find the right store for your needs.
Due to the huge discounts on bulk products that warehouse clubs like Costco offer, they have become a popular alternative for shoppers who want to save money.
Similarly, smaller discount stores offer lower prices on some food items that larger stores might not compete with.
Either way, shopping at a wholesale club or discount store is a great choice. There is no need to hunt for the best deals when you can find them in one place.