Costco says members can only bring one guest to stores as the shopping frenzy during the pandemic continues

Costco shopper

Paul Sancya/AP Images

Costco has been rolling out new restrictions to cope with a surge in shoppers during the coronavirus pandemic.

  • Costco announced Wednesday that it will not allow more than two people to enter its US warehouses with each membership card from Friday onward.
  • As shoppers swarm its stores, the warehouse chain has been forced to roll out new restrictions such as this to protect its customers and workers.
  • It has already cut back on store opening hours, rolled out dedicated shopping hours for the elderly and vulnerable, and placed restrictions on the number of in-demand items customers can buy.
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Costco stores across the US have been swarmed with shoppers in recent weeks, forcing the warehouse chain to put new restrictions in place to protect the customers and workers in its stores.

As of Friday, April 3, its latest rule comes into play - members will only be allowed to bring one guest with them when they shop at any Costco store around the US. Previously, members could bring two guests with them and any kids they have. Advertisement

Costco explained on its site that this temporary change is for the safety of its members and workers "and to further assist with our social distancing efforts."

Over the past few weeks, shoppers have gradually seen changes like this creep into its stores. The company has cut back on opening hours, rolled out dedicated shopping hours for the elderly and vulnerable, ended its much-loved free samples, placed restrictions on the number of in-demand items customers can buy, and even announced that its unlimited returns policy will no longer apply to some of these in-demand items.

CEO Craig Jelinek addressed these changes in a letter to customers, which was posted on its site on Wednesday: "As many of you have noticed, we've experienced a surge of business during this time. As a result, we've taken steps to control the number of members in our warehouses and asked that members and employees practice social distancing. We've also reduced some services.
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"As new information becomes available, management is keeping warehouse staff well informed so they can respond swiftly and appropriately...As new developments occur, be assured we are committed to taking care of our members and employees and to our mission of providing low prices, quality merchandise and exceptional service," he said.

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