Costco just made an uncharacteristic move to win over millennial customers (COST)

CostcoTim Boyle/Getty Images

  • Costco members can now use Apple Pay, Google Wallet, and Samsung Pay to buy products in its US stores. The retailer trialed the new payment service in a handful of locations before rolling it out to all stores this month.
  • This move could be an effort to appeal to a younger generation of tech-savvy shoppers.
  • Sam’s Club does not currently offer Apple Pay as a payment option.

Costco has rolled out Apple Pay to all of its US stores in an effort to win over millennial shoppers.

“We’ve added additional mobile payment options to make your next visit more convenient,” Costco said in a statement emailed to Business Insider.

“Costco members can now use Apple Pay, Google Wallet, and Samsung Pay at U.S. Costco locations.”

The store does not currently accept non-Visa cards and will continue not to, a spokesperson confirmed.

The warehouse store has been trialing these new payment options at a handful of locations before it was rolled out nationally this month.

The new service will put Costco ahead of its main competitor, Walmart-owned Sam’s Club, which does not offer Apple Pay as a payment option. This could make a Costco membership more appealing for younger, tech-savvy consumers.

Warehouse clubs’ core customer is typically older.

“It’s generally someone with a family and a house,” Sucharita Mulpuru, an analyst at the research firm Forrester, told The Washington Post in January.

These stores are now tasked with adapting their shopping experiences to appeal to a new generation of shoppers who are buying houses and starting families but were brought up shopping on Amazon. There’s also competition from savvy online startups like Boxed, which sells products in bulk and has been called the “Costco for millennials.”

“Costco has been one of the least digitally forward companies out there. This segment has had its head in the sand when it comes to competing with Amazon,” Mulpuru said to the Post.

BJ’s Wholesale Club, another of Costco’s rivals, has offered Apple Pay since 2015 and has allowed members to have a digital membership card, which can be stored in Apple Wallet on members’ phones.

Some Costco customers are complaining on social media that the retailer is falling behind on that front:

“I can also relay that at this time we do not have a digital membership card and we continue to not accept non-VISA cards,” a Costco spokesperson told Business Insider.

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