It would probably be safe to say Costco doesn't need to do anything to drive traffic to its stores. However, it would seem the company would be eyeing the prospects of installing EV chargers, especially in key locations. However, it was recently shared that the company has no intention of doing so for years.
Costco tends to be on the cutting edge when it comes to products and how it runs its business. As you may remember, it was one of the first store chains to add electric car charging stations, though it got rid of them way back in 2011. However, during the company's recent earning call, CFO Richard Galanti said Costco won't be bringing back EV chargers "in the next few years."
According to Green Car Reports, Galanti's statement came after he was asked if he had concerns that new EV mandates might eventually make Costco's gasoline business obsolete. Costco is a known leader in gasoline discounts for members, and, despite an uptick in EV adoption, its gasoline market share is still growing on our shores.
Costco's early electric vehicle chargers were only available in select locations in California. However, with the company's successful gasoline business, which is open 24 hours a day in most locations, added to the fact that it clearly doesn't need to attract loads of new customers, EV chargers aren't on its current radar. Galanti added:
"I think it's a question that we can defer for five or 10 years, frankly."
Amid Costco's decision to table the prospects of adding electric car chargers, such units can be found at Target, where they've been available since 2013. Green Car Reports reminds us that at that time, EVs like the Chevrolet Volt, Nissan Leaf, and Tesla Model S were on the market and gaining popularity, which wasn't yet the case when Costco tore out its chargers two years prior.
Many other retail store chains have EV charging stations, and the number is growing. Several Meijer grocery store locations, which also sell gas, have installed EV chargers. In fact, we've visited a few locations that have an entire bank of Tesla Superchargers in addition to another area with units from EVgo. Walmart has big plans to add thousands of charging stations, and it's the owner of Costco's primary competitor, Sam's Club.
Do you think Costco should get into the charging game sooner rather than later? Start a conversation in the comment section below.