Costco to accept food stamps nationwide - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Costco to accept food stamps nationwide

PORTLAND, Ore. - Costco Wholesale Corp. said Wednesday that it will start accepting food stamps at its warehouse clubs nationwide after testing them at stores in New York.

It's a big about-face for a retailer that has catered to bargain-hunting but affluent shoppers, and it's a sign of the grim reality facing retailers and their customers. The number of Americans relying on government food subsidies to eat recently hit a record 36 million.

Costco, which is based in Issaquah, Wash., began accepting food stamps at two stores in Brooklyn and Queens in May under political pressure from officials who worked with the company on opening a club in a redevelopment area in Manhattan.

The company quickly expanded to all six of its stores in New York state.

Company officials said they had doubted many customers would use food stamps but it turned out new members said they were joining precisely because the company accepted the assistance program.

"We recognize these are tough times and more people are food-stamp-eligible," Costco Chief Financial Officer Richard Galanti said Wednesday.

Costco said it hopes to accept food stamps at half of its 407 stores in the U.S. and Puerto Rico by Thanksgiving and at the remainder as soon as it wins regulatory approval in each state.

While most major grocery chains have accepted the food subsidy for years, more retailers have been accepting food stamps as the process has eased and the number of people using them has soared.

Most users no longer receive stamps, but instead carry the value on a card that can be swiped at checkout much like a bank debit card.

That makes it easier and more discrete for shoppers and speeds the checkout and reimbursement processes for retailers.

Due to the fact that about half of Costco's customers are small businesses and the rest tend to be more affluent than shoppers at traditional grocery chains, Galanti said, executives had assumed there wouldn't be much response to it accepting food stamps.

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Spokane sex trafficking victim gets second chance as shop owner

    Spokane sex trafficking victim gets second chance as shop owner

    Tuesday, September 18 2018 8:42 PM EDT2018-09-19 00:42:17 GMT

    SPOKANE, Wash. - From the outside, the Repeat Boutique looks like a lot of other thrift shops in Spokane.  Inside, some might describe the stuff for sale as old, used, discarded garbage -- but store manager CJ Curtis sees its potential. And just like the goods in her shop, CJ is on her way to a new life, one far from the one she once lived. 

    >>

    SPOKANE, Wash. - From the outside, the Repeat Boutique looks like a lot of other thrift shops in Spokane.  Inside, some might describe the stuff for sale as old, used, discarded garbage -- but store manager CJ Curtis sees its potential. And just like the goods in her shop, CJ is on her way to a new life, one far from the one she once lived. 

    >>
  • Former WSU Volleyball player files official complaint against Jason Gesser

    Former WSU Volleyball player files official complaint against Jason Gesser

    Tuesday, September 18 2018 9:59 PM EDT2018-09-19 01:59:44 GMT

    A former volleyball player for Washington State University says Jason Gesser made sexual advances toward her during a charity event for the athletic department. "I thought I did something wrong, I thought that I could hurt their family," said Alyssa Wold-Bodeau. "So I chose to hide it, I chose to bury it, and I thought if it was just me and I only knew about it I could just deal with it and move on to protect them." Wold- Bodeau told the Spokesman-Review that Ges...

    >>

    A former volleyball player for Washington State University says Jason Gesser made sexual advances toward her during a charity event for the athletic department. "I thought I did something wrong, I thought that I could hurt their family," said Alyssa Wold-Bodeau. "So I chose to hide it, I chose to bury it, and I thought if it was just me and I only knew about it I could just deal with it and move on to protect them." Wold- Bodeau told the Spokesman-Review that Ges...

    >>
  • Police impersonator attempts to pull over Spokane woman

    Police impersonator attempts to pull over Spokane woman

    Monday, September 17 2018 8:45 PM EDT2018-09-18 00:45:37 GMT

    SPOKANE, Wash. - "He told me to pull over, and my jaw just dropped," a Spokane woman, who says a fake police officer tried to pull her over, doesn't want to be named. In fear, this could happen again. "It really scared me and kind of threw me off that night. I don't even want to drive by myself anymore," she said. She tells me that she was driving around North Spokane at night on her way home from work. 

    >>

    SPOKANE, Wash. - "He told me to pull over, and my jaw just dropped," a Spokane woman, who says a fake police officer tried to pull her over, doesn't want to be named. In fear, this could happen again. "It really scared me and kind of threw me off that night. I don't even want to drive by myself anymore," she said. She tells me that she was driving around North Spokane at night on her way home from work. 

    >>
HD DOPPLER 6i
/