COSTCO responds to UARF letter
Date: Thursday, July 10 @ 15:19:56 MST
Topic: Re-Branded Politics
New Page 1
COSTCO's reply to UARF's Letter
July 10, 2014
Over the past two days, a number of press reports have created a controversy
surrounding Costco's decision to pull from sale the book, "America, Imagine
a World Without Her", a controversy that we believe is completely
unwarranted. Unfortunately, in this time of extreme views…both left and right
of the "political aisle"…such controversy has been exacerbated, in
part due to the portrayal by some, of the facts surrounding the Company's
decision to pull this book from sale.
Here are the facts:
The book in question was brought into 249 Costco locations throughout
the United States on or about June 1.
Sales during the month of June and into the first few days of July,
totaled 3,753 units, or approximately 15 books per Costco location.
Consistent with the policy of our book department for thirty years, and
based solely on the small number of copies sold during the four-to-five week
period, our buyer, on July 1, communicated to the warehouse locations that
the book be pulled from sale, and returned to the distributor by July 15.
Costco is not a book store. Our book shelf space is very limited. We
exercise discipline in the best utilization of that limited space based
solely on what our members are buying. We can't carry every title that our
members are interested in reading. We are constantly monitoring book sales,
and make decisions to pull books off the shelves frequently based on sales
volume to make room for other titles. Politics, or controversy over content,
do not influence our decisions.
While some press articles, blogs, television and cable programs, etc.
have suggested that Costco's decision to pull this book was politically
motivated, perhaps due to the political views of certain members of senior
management, nothing could be further from the truth. Two of the Company's
policies since its inception in 1983 are simple and straightforward:
Politics, or political controversy over content, do not influence
our decision to sell, or not sell, a given book.
Costco does not make contributions to political candidates or
parties…left, center, right or other…period! Costco does not have a
political action committee.
The political views of Costco's senior management team, Costco's Board
of Directors, and Costco's more than 127,000 U.S. employees are varied, and
span the entire range of views. While the two company policies mentioned
above are clear and unambiguous, we live in America; and we respect the
rights of each and every individual to personally support whatever views he
or she may have; but we will not allow political beliefs to affect the
products we choose to sell.
Some have suggested that Costco timed the pulling from sale the book in
question to align with the July 2 opening of the book's companion movie.
This is unequivocally not true. The book was brought in to Costco to sell.
It didn't sell well. In retrospect, we probably should have waited for the
movie to be released to see what sales impact it would have. Given
yesterday's dramatic sales increase in the book - perhaps due in part to the
surrounding controversy - we have chosen to bring back the book.
Costco prides itself in the trust and member loyalty earned over the past
thirty years. Costco is also proud that our more than 127,000 U.S. employees,
and 189,000 employees worldwide, are the best in retail, and are able to earn
wages and benefits that far exceed every other major hourly retailer.
Some in the press will continue to "fan the flames." That's what
they do. At Costco, we have earned our members' and our employees' trust over
the past thirty years by bringing to our members the best quality goods and
services at the lowest possible prices; by taking care of our employees; and by
being principled and doing what is right. We will continue operating our
business in this way. It's what makes us who we are.
To see UARF's letter to COSTCO
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