The Busiest Costco In The World: Iwilei (Oahu)

Think your neighborhood Costco is busy? Think again.

The largest membership warehouse club chain in the United States, Costco has over 570 stores in not just the U.S. but worldwide, including locations in Canada, Mexico, the United Kingdom, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, and Australia.

Costco is the third largest retailer in the United States (behind Target and Wal-Mart) and the ninth largest in the world. So, out of all of its locations around the world, just which one is the busiest? The answer may surprise you.

While it is in the United States, the busiest Costco is located in Hawaii, on the island of Oahu. The company actually has three stores on the island, but the one in Iwilei easily takes the title as the location that gets the most business.

Also the largest store out of the three in Oahu, the Iwilei Costco rakes in a lot more money than others, according to The Seattle Times.

While the average Costco warehouse rings up $129 million each year, the Costco in Iwilei posts $300 million in sales annually.

Why is this particular location so popular? Costco maintains that nearly one in every four island residents carries a Costco card from this store. On all of the island of Oahu, half the residents shop at Costco. The store is so busy that its entire inventory is gone about two times each month.

Have you been to the Iwilei Costco? What was your experience like?

Also, what do you think are some of the busier or more crowded Costco locations? Be sure to let us know in the comments below.

Image: brewbookshawaii

  • Tlkl808

    Store is very busy,but still maintains its cleanliness. Always a pleasure to shop at and the cell phone guys at this location are extremely fast and knowledgable. If you have any needs with your carrier I highly recommend them.

  • Bill Collins

    I moved to Oahu about a year ago, and although this Costco is busy, I was surprised to find out it’s the busiest of all!  It never seemed like anything but a standard busy Costco to me.  As an added bonus, their hot dog cafe is outside and has plenty of seating – and they get your food to you quickly!

  • Kimo StJames

    “Think your neighborhood Costco is busy? “Yes, I do. I live in Honolulu and I understand our Iwilei costco is the busiest in america.
    “Think again.”
    uh. Why?!

  • Yorah Buffoon

    The busiest Costco in North America in sales is the one in Northwest Edmonton, Alberta Canada.

  • Yorah Buffoon

    Highest disposable income is located in Edmonton…The Alberta oilsands is booming and Edmonton is as well.

  • thenakedbusiness

    Yes, fast, efficient turnover in the Iwilei Costco and never seems that busy but very steady and heavy footfall all the time. We found the Costco in Taipei seemed a lot  busier – I assume it was just lower priced items per customer, narrower isles and a lot more SKU’s – Great to see that the Costco’s are starting the thrive in Australia. Went to the opening week of Costco in Melbourne a few years back and recently studied the Sydney and Canberra stores. A little slow in Canberra but it will pick up as membership grows.

  • jered leach

    Bellingham Costco is probably the most crowded, stupid Canadians come across the border because it’s cheaper than there own Costco….so dumb

  • Pat

    Well said “stupid Canadians”. Sounds like words from an educated person that has not given this very much thought. Costco south of our border is cheaper for the most part. Trust me I watch prices. Us stupid Canadians are contributing to the Bellingham retail profits overall which is a good thing for your economy. I don’t live in in Vancouver to commute into Bellingham but I did purchase a car there a few years back. You’re welcome. I go to the Kalispell Montana Costco when I have the opportunity to head south and the folks in that city are fabulous. You should learn to be grateful of the friendship we share on both sides of the border.

  • jered leach

    You drive the prices of everything up, drive with no regard to road laws, leave trash all over our parking lots, are rude in stores, And ruin the comforts of being in your own town. Don’t act like you’re helping me by buying cheaper goods for yourself, it does nothing for me…. And good for you buying a car, hopefully you’re one of the few who actually drives decently.

  • jmh

    Things have gotten worse here since 2010 imho. I commend the people that have to work at this Costco. Something about the crowdedness turns many customers into barbarians, including me :( There is no such thing as a “not busy” time to shop here.
    Honolulu is just plain overcrowded and driving to another Costco in Oahu’s ridiculous traffic will defeat the purpose of avoiding a crowd.

  • jmh

    another factor, at least in my personal experience, is that many of us live paycheck to paycheck. This means I can only buy so much when I go to Costco, meaning I have to make more visits.

  • J Bello

    Per square foot, Maui Costco is #1 Busy. It was built to be a Sam’s Club, but Walmart, (Thank God) changed their mind and sold off the location. So its not as big as a regular Costco, but geez is it busy. Its next to the airport and is the #1 stop for visitors staying in condos.

    But if you feel the need for crappy service, crappy products and empty shelves, their is a Walmart near by.

  • Seoul

    I find this hard to believe. Come to Seoul, South Korea and you will see what busy truly is. Hawaii just doesn’t have the population density of Seoul to even come close.

  • magnus

    Ive heard this before, but I shop here and it really doesn’t feel overcrowded. Maybe cause I shop during week during the day.

  • CDS

    lived in Bellingham for over 20 years. I enjoy numerous amenities most smaller
    cities can’t offer, and it’s partially due to the Canadians. There is a reason why Whatcom County is the
    MOST PROSPIROUS County in the state of Washington State. Our friends to the
    north will wait in a border line for over two hours to shop the retail
    establishments in Bellingham… and believe me, their wallets are full heading
    south and empty when on the way back north (they’re serious about shopping).
    When they patronize the local establishments it generates a broader tax base,
    and that good for the residents of Bellingham.

    I don’t mind waiting a little longer, I don’t mind walking a little further and
    don’t mind paying a few cents more. That’s what happens when you live in a border

    Pat, you keep making the trip down. You’re always welcome here in my book!

  • Grey-Summers

    This article is from 2010. I believe a Costco in Seoul is now the busiest in the world. But, the Iwilei Costco is still the busiest in the U.S.

  • canadakicksass

    coming from a dumb ass american