Retail Giant CEO Says This Change is a Sign of Impending Recession

In a call with investors reported by Business Insider, Costco Chief Financial Officer Richard Galanti said he’s seen some customers switching from purchases of beef products to less expensive choices, like pork and chicken. He said he’s also seen this trend historically as the U.S. entered a recession in the past.

Costco customers are bypassing the beef aisle to shop for chicken and pork as a recession looms. Others are bypassing the fresh meat aisle entirely and opting for canned meat and fish products which cost less and have a longer shelf life.

There are other indicators showing that Costco’s customers are feeling the pinch. For example, the portion of sales from Costco’s private label brand — Kirkland — grew during the most recent quarter. These products cost less than national brands and are a quick way for customers to save money on their weekly shop. 

Moreover, the average daily transaction at Costco was down 4.2% worldwide and 3.5% in the US during the quarter. Costco said this number was primarily impacted by the drop in sales of big-ticket nonfood items, such as TVs and fridges. Business Insider