Costco Cuts Prices on Berries, Batteries As Inflation Slows

Estimated read time 2 min read
  • Costco cut prices on frozen berries, reading glasses, and other products this year.
  • Richard Galanti, Costco’s CFO, said it wants “to be the first out there trying to lower prices.”
  • It’s a sign that easing inflation is finally benefiting consumers.

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Berries, batteries, and reading glasses are among the items that cost less at Costco now thanks to a slowing rate of inflation.

The retailer recently cut some of the prices at its warehouses, Costco’s CFO, Richard Galanti, said during an earnings call late Thursday. Among the reductions: 48 Kirkland batteries now cost $15.99, down from $17.99; a four-pound bag of mixed frozen berries runs $10.99, down from $14.99, and a pair of reading glasses is now $16.99, down from $18.99.

Galanti said inflation was “essentially flat” in the company’s second quarter, which ended on February 18.

“We’re taking price reductions where we can,” Galanti said during his final call before retirement, adding later: “We always want to be the first out there trying to lower prices.”

Inflation has slowed down over the past several months, but shoppers haven’t necessarily seen price cuts: Food still accounts for a larger portion of consumers’ spending than it has any time since the early 1990s.

Some consumers are growing their own food or using all the coupons they can find to save money, Business Insider reported last month.

At the same time, prices for durable goods such as cars and appliances have started falling, federal data shows. It’s been several years since the US saw widespread deflation, including among grocery items.

As inflation soared over the past two years, warehouse retailers such as Costco and Walmart’s Sam’s Club benefited from deal-hungry consumers looking to save money.

Galanti also said that customers won’t have to stomach an increase to their annual membership fee right now — though he added that Costco is debating “when, not if” the next fee increase will come. The cheapest Costco membership runs $60 a year, and the chain last raised the fee in 2017.

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