Costco Wholesale Reviews

Updated 21 September 2014
Updated 21 September 2014
1,237 Reviews
3.9
1,237 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
Costco Wholesale President & CEO Craig Jelinek
Craig Jelinek
536 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • You are able to grow within the company the pay and benefits are wonderful (in 106 reviews)

  • There are great benefits available for part-time and full-time employees (in 168 reviews)


Cons
  • Offered me full time then fired me right before I was to receive benefits (in 57 reviews)

  • Takes a few seasonal periods to get hired permanently and then it is only part time (in 46 reviews)

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

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  1.  

    Life at Costco

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Forklift Driver  in  Croydon, England
    Current Employee - Forklift Driver in Croydon, England

    I have been working at Costco Wholesale full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Great Place to work large worldwide company with lots of opportunities

    Cons

    Dont get to know your shifts till the week before

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2.  

    Costco wholesale UK management shambles

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Various Roles  in  Leeds, England
    Former Employee - Various Roles in Leeds, England

    I worked at Costco Wholesale full-time for more than 10 years

    Pros

    Good pay for unskilled workers. Annual optical voucher. Good bonus

    Cons

    Don't get rota until week before. Expected to be available 4am to10pm. The biggest issue at Costco is the management. I worked for Costco for 15 years and saw the quality of the store managers and head office managers slowly decline. Started off with a good manager who realised that the staff made the store and ended up with a manager who wouldn't even speak to some staff. I noticed a culture of favouritism, if your face fit you were ok. The last manager I had at Leeds actively sought to dismiss staff on a higher wage and employ someone new to save payroll. He deliberately set out to make life difficult for staff who challenged him on his dubious decisions. This was rife and led to some very suspicious interpretations of the Costco handbook. With regards to the handbook, most managers treat this as a weapon to be used against staff and it is not worth the paper it is printed on. Managers routinely don't follow it if it isn't in their interests and interpret it as they see fit to suit themselves.

    Head office staff are not much better. The senior management will back up a store manager regardless of the situation. They also believe that they are right, to the point where they will ignore the law! I was due in to a disciplinary meeting regarding sickness and requested it be rescheduled due to health. This was flatly denied and I was told the meeting would go ahead if I was there or not. This is in direct contravention of employment law as published by Acas. When I pointed this out to the HR, training and development manager at head office. He stated that this wasn't covered in the handbook and therefore didn't apply! He then backed up the managers statement and added that he was coming up the meeting from Watford and didn't want the hassle of rearranging.

    There are a lot of problems with the management, who don't follow all the rules and they know it. I witnessed a senior manager arguing with a member of staff. The staff member walked off and the manager tried to run him over with a forklift truck! When a complaint was made to the store manager, he pulled the staff member to one side and told him that if he continued with this complaint, the store manager would personally see to it that 'his career would be over'! I was also warned off giving any witness statement if asked for one. 'We will not accept a witness statement that doesn't say you saw nothing'. That's not me paraphrasing! These are direct quotes that I witnessed.

    A motivational speech by the admin director that I heard sums up senior managements feelings and opinions of hourly staff. 'If you aren't happy here or don't like the way the business is run, that's fine. Please feel free to look elsewhere. But bear in mind Costco pay the best and you won't get anything like the wage you get now at our competitors.' - Nice!!!

    If your face fits, great. If you hourly wage is maxed out, watch yourself. If you don't want to become a target, keep your head down and your mouth shut. Do not question or challenge store management, otherwise that will be your card marked for your whole time there. Don't bother escalating to head office as they will ALWAYS back up the manager. Do seek advice if you are in a disciplinary situation as Costco UK (rather arrogantly) do not adhere to UK employment law. They believe the handbook supersedes the law!

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Retrain managers and Head office managers. Value your staff, realise they are your greatest asset, not a liability to be managed out of the business.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  3. 1 person found this helpful  

    Great if you want job security, not so great if you have any personal career aspirations

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Costco Wholesale full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Cash rich company due to international stature so not likely to close down anytime soon. Generally, the company does not make people redundant. Medical and pension package for middle managers and above.

    Cons

    No career prospects unless your "face fits". You could be doing the same job for 15 years without any gratitude from the management. The company does not believe in rewarding its employees or the staff morale. There are no formalised training procedures; and you will only learn something if you are lucky enough to have a clued up manager. No promotional opportunities unless you are happy to be a "yes sir, no sir 3 bags full sir" employee. The general attitude of the management team is that we give you a Christmas party and a £25 gift voucher to spend in store. This should suffice to keep you motivated through the year! Also, no structure to the very weak HR team, who are unfortunately completely biased in their opinions. Real shame as the company's business model means it has real potential to be one of the leading employers in the UK, only if the management decide get off their metaphorical "high horse".

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Practice what you actually preach in the code of ethics. Look after your employees and the company will look after itself. Empowering staff is the most effective management tool and all successful businesses have LISTENED to their employees. You have some very competent and business savvy people in the business who are not getting the opportunity of promotion, due to your blinkered approach. Get rid of the unfair pay structure between the 3 levels of employees as the middle management are the ones suffering. Don't promote roles to suggest that the employee will gave plenty of growth opportunities, they don't. At least that way there will be no false expectations. Have a "grade" system so employees can work their way up the ladder rather than having to wait until their manager gets pregnant, leaves or retires. Your are not offering any exceptional benefits that are not already offered by the competitors.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
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  5.  

    dismal

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Cafe Assistant  in  London, England
    Current Employee - Cafe Assistant in London, England

    I have been working at Costco Wholesale full-time for more than 10 years

    Pros

    good wages..dental care after 2 yrs also optical voucher foe £125 every year but only if you don't need large prescription lenses

    Cons

    made to feel useless by management. you get moved to different depts. for no reason.once you top out watch your back they want you gone medical notes disappear from your file so that they can say you will move there's nothing in your file .don't bother to complain to HR about your ware house manager they'll just send it to his assistant to deal with

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    train your managers in employee relationships support your staff not just upper managers.make your staff feel that they are valued

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  6. 2 people found this helpful  

    Bad Quality Control in Management. Sociopaths in Power

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Customer Assistant  in  Watford, East Midlands, England
    Current Employee - Customer Assistant in Watford, East Midlands, England

    I have been working at Costco Wholesale full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    Good pay. Great for limited people who have no skills in achieving another job beyond minimum wage.
    Good benefits
    Not enough, but many managers are nice

    Cons

    Management culture driven by pure greed and selfishness while not balancing out the the needs and well being of their workers.
    Dealt with and was told about some managers who have come from the bottom rungs of society. They have serious personal issues and dysfunctional habits that they bring to work and have
    inflicted on innocent workers.
    Costco don't seem to fire them. The culture of greed there means , a worker will get fired immediately for drinking a tea without paying for it, but a manager will all sorts of serious faulty actions against workers, short of murder but don't ever get fired, ever.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Screen people more closely for management. Get rid of the dysfunctional, sociopathic, greedy bullys that are tarnishing Costco's ethos of taking care of their workers.
    Let the workers rate each manager each year and let Head Office have them held accountable for their actions.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  7.  

    best job ive had, excellent place to work.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Costco Wholesale full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    friendly staff throughout the warehouse

    Cons

    there are no cons working for costco

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
  8. 1 person found this helpful  

    Costco Thurrock Letting Down Great US Company

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Service Clerk  in  West Thurrock, England
    Current Employee - Service Clerk in West Thurrock, England

    I have been working at Costco Wholesale full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    Before this review gets all negative, i must stress the good aspects. Firstly, with a variety of different departments, there is scope for progression in the company from the bottom up if you are willing to put in the work. Traditionally, this company has always been supportive of it's staff at difficult times and family values were always considered important, even if this attitude is dwindling. The pay and bonus scheme is better than most retail jobs also.

    Cons

    The core of the problem is simple - the US sent over a dream and its UK counterparts have tarnished it. The Employee Handbook, the supposed Bible of Costco which is supposed to set out its ethics and rules is flawed. Constant re-writes and re-issues fail to address the basic problems which centre around the poor treatment of its staff. Different departments need flexible staff to ensure standards are met and shelves, pallets and cabinets are stocked. Staff are asked to be available between 0500 and 2200. However many have often worked outside these hours to help out and get no extra pay for nights or anti-social hours. And recently, where before there was more structure and planning behind shift patterns, managers are making staff change from earlys one day to lates the next with little thought to how this effects families, with next to no notice for employees to sort out possible complications. Where there was once a flexibility and mutual respect between management and staff to ensure 'Showtime Readiness' and the quality of goods to our members, there is now constant friction and upset under the current stewardship. Staff are stressed constantly by bullying tactics and rule changes, excuses used by the management to balance wages and profits. If a member of staff has managed to accrue full time status and top out on his/her wages, a £4000 bonus every year seems like a superb thing to most people and should be commended. But now the current management looks to punish staff on top rate, constantly telling them they are not doing enough work, all the while forcing staff members to change departments with no notice at all. There is absolutely no training plans involved at any level, with a generation of supervisary and managerial staff clueless to basic employment law and man-management skills. Promoting from within is admirable in any company, but training is key and Costco UK does not want to spend any of its vast profits on this. Instead it leaves these senior staff unprotected. A culture of favouritism for staff that are willing to crawl and back-stab to succeed is spawned as a result with complaints having to often go out of the warehouse to be resolved fairly, and 9 times out of 10 managers are not punished, trained or told to how to change their approach to amend these issues. The recent changes at the top of this warehouse have backfired terribly creating massive division between staff and management.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    It's simple - Bring some of the US managers over here to teach the UK lot how to instill its original ethics back into our flawed system. The warehouse at Thurrock was the original and should be the best of the rest, but it has been abandoned since head office relocated to Watford. The company has some great aspects too it and could actually be the nearest some would get to a 'Job-For-Life' for those with next to no qualifications. Stop looking at staff as disposable and get back to respecting them as previous managers have. Communication and transparency need to improve and stop going backwards. The staff are most flexible when treated right. Whilst the company's needs must be met, management and salaried staff need to step up/in more, all the while remembering that everybody have families not just them. Respect is earned, not just given.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  9. 2 people found this helpful  

    Costo makes you hard worker.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Cashier  in  Croydon, England
    Former Employee - Cashier in Croydon, England

    I worked at Costco Wholesale

    Pros

    the best place to start a new career and there is lots of learning new skills and costco recruits within the company.
    Highest pay rate as compared to other warehouses.

    Cons

    there is lot of favouritism. i suppose its everywhere.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    please see the true potential and hardwork rather than favouritism.

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
  10. 2 people found this helpful  

    hard work

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Food Services Supervisor  in  London, England
    Current Employee - Food Services Supervisor in London, England

    I have been working at Costco Wholesale

    Pros

    pay compared to other companies in the same line is better then most .
    £125 a year optical voucher to be spent in store not transferable and only percription glasses
    free dental treatment after 2 years employment but subject to certain limits

    Cons

    you are expected to change your starting time to suit them all the time ie you could start at 4am one day and midnight the next shift .As a salaried supervisior you can work upto 11 and 12 hour shifts at a time even though it should be 9 hours.you very rarely get any time back ending up you are cheap labour earning less then hourly paid staff.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    preach a very good code of ethics,reality is not the same.
    little feedback in most things
    not what you know but who you know that counts a lot
    different standands for different people.
    vists from headoffice are mostly known about giving time for managent to prepare store so there again many bad points not seen.
    staff having to sign training given sheets without training being given,thereby covering the company against any claims

    Approves of CEO
  11. 2 people found this helpful  

    UK West Thurrock is letting down its staff on a massive level that threatens knock on effects for Costo UK

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Cashier  in  London, England
    Current Employee - Cashier in London, England

    I have been working at Costco Wholesale

    Pros

    Good salary, oppotunities of educational interaction with customers.

    Cons

    Poor management skills, No communication or respect for staff, sucking up culture that does not reward hard workers only those who kiss in the right place. Intimidation and bullying tactics buy senior managers that is forced down to supervisory level and has left a huge amount of discontent among employees, with very little representation at warehouse level, and when taken higher very little is done to help you which is widely known and been explored by many warehouse workers, but a lot is done to defend the management without any actual knowledge of what is really going on day to day. There are many many more.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Costco in the UK is a stagnent mess. Yes there are plans to open new stores, but the quality of management just isn't there to encourage and plant the seeds of future excellence within the company. As the flagship store in the UK West Thurrock is letting down its staff on a massive level. At the moment the Store is run by a Naive individual who is only interested in his own personal developement within the company, and only interested in those with the same single minded selfish work ethics. Costcos values and ethics ( as i interperet them ) are a laughing stock within the warehouse and with the level of favoritism, bullying and victimisation within the warehouse the path to an eventual resolution of these problems is fraught with stress anxiety and most of the workers do not have the courage, time, support and sheer determination to make our flagship warehouse the great place to work it should be.

    Doesn't Recommend

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