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

  1. I have to agree with Mr. Jenkins. While the Alhambra, CA Costco may not generate the most gross sales, it is definitely the busiest and most crowded in the US. I have been to the Iwilei location and while it gets quite busy at times, it does not compare to the continuous madness at Alhambra. I attribute it to the following reasons:
    1. Alhambra is probably 3/4 the size of the standard warehouse. Even if it was 2 times bigger, it would still be packed.
    2. Alhambra has a higher percentage of cash transactions (as opposed to credit card), which results in slower checkout times.
    3. There are many more bulk/resale transactions at Alhambra. I attribute this to the large Asian population in the area, who are either resupplying their small businesses, or purchasing items to resell or gift in Asia (in particular, vitamins and dry food products like nuts and dried fruit, which are more expensive in Asia).
    4. The Alhambra Costco routinely hosts tour buses of Asian tourists, who flood the warehouse to buy gifts and souvenirs (and also contribute to the slow down via cash transactions).
    5. I also agree with Mr. Jenkins that as soon as you enter the Alhambra warehouse, everyone (Asian or otherwise) sheds any sense of civility or common courtesy and adopts a “kill or be killed” mentality.

  2. Been to about 30 Costco’s in US, Canada, Mexico and HI. Without a doubt the filthiest bathrooms are in the Honolulu Costco. Stink, stained porcelain and broken fixtures.

  3. YEP , would have to Agree to that, But they still give Great Service and get it Done !

  4. I don’t know about that particular HI location, but the busiest Costcos I can confirm as a past resident of HI have always been the ones in Kona and in Lahaina. My rationale is that most of the products in Costco on HI are not inflated…the grocery stores, Target, and Walmart all inflat the prices but Costco’s prices in HI were about the same as on the mainland.

  5. Why wouldn’t you want to go to South Korea? It’s a beautiful, ancient country. The people are beautiful and disciplined and they love America. The crime rate is very low.

  6. Agreed! I’ve been to South Korea and it is beautiful!

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