Costco Membership Card

Price Club, the first members-only discount warehouse store in the United States, opened in San Diego, California, in 1976. Its founder, Sol Price (1916-2009), envisioned a retail model that slashed overhead costs: the enormous, no-frills store carried a limited inventory that was not promoted with paid advertisements. At first, Price Club membership was available only to business owners, a strategy that proved unprofitable. Once general consumers were allowed to become members, the business flourished and, by 1993, Price Club owned 94 stores in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico.
Price’s model was copied and adapted by others, including Costco, established in Seattle in 1983. In 1993, Price Club and Costco merged, becoming “Price Costco” until 1997, when the business became simply “Costco.”
This membership card for “Price Costco” was issued to Margaret (Peggy) Hackman, who used it at the Costco warehouse store in Gaithersburg, Maryland, from the early 1990s until she donated it to the museum in 2011.
Currently not on view
Physical Description
plastic (overall material)
white (overall color)
red (overall color)
blue (overall color)
overall: 2 1/8 in x 3 3/8 in x 1/16 in; 5.3975 cm x 8.5725 cm x .15875 cm
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
Credit Line
Gift of Margaret (Peggy) Hackman
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Work and Industry: Food Technology
Data Source
National Museum of American History


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