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

  • Steve

    A visit to Honolulu’s Costco at Iwilei is one of the most dreaded necessities of the week for anyone living in Honolulu. (God forbid you should have to go twice.) The traffic in this extremely overpopulated city is a constant gridlock, so just getting there is misery. Then parking…. it can take 15-20 min. just to find a place to park. Once in the store there are throngs of people, the products are generally ravaged and messed up, sizes in clothes are often not available, food sells out continually, etc. It’s a big producer because the grocery stores and other retailers charge the “price of paradise” markup. Even products at Costco in Honolulu are more than on the mainland.
    The reason people shop there is the high cost of living on the island. AND, there are 22 more high rise condominium building in the works in Honolulu. The population is rapidly expanding, mostly a result of Asian migration, the flight from horribly crowed cities in China to the only miserably crowded Honolulu. A very sad situation for the indigenous locals and people like myself who were born there and have seen the quality of life deteriorate exponentially as a result of global trade and income inequality.

  • thomas h jenkins

    Alhambra Costco is always busy, and it has been remodel (enlarged 3 times) Inside the store the shoppers walk like they Drive, stopping in the middle and stopping in the middle of the aisles. Worst is the Parking situation, people always want that up front spot, making it harder for the disabled to park.

    Perhaps, costco will consult some traffic experts to help the movement within their parking lots..

  • canadakicksass

    coming from a dumb ass american

  • 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.

  • CDS

    I’ve
    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.

    Frankly,
    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
    town.

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

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.