Costco selling 0 million in gold bars per month, says analyst

Costco selling $200 million in gold bars per month, says analyst

The gold rush at Costco is a very real thing.

An analyst note from Wells Fargo estimates sales of the company’s gold bars currently account for between $100 million and $200 million per month. Sales of the one-ounce bars, which are made of 24-karat gold began last October. The bars sell for about $2,000 each.

While the revenue numbers are significant, the research note suggests profits from these sales are low, at best. The real value, it says, is in how the price reinforces Costco’s value position. (The spot price of an ounce of gold, as of 11:15 a.m. Wednesday morning, stood at $2,332.)

It is, in one way, a high-end version of the company’s rotisserie chicken—a way to attract customer attention.

It couldn’t come at a better time, either. Gold has been on something of a rocket ride this year as the chances of an interest rate cut by the Federal Reserve look increasingly dim. Year to date, prices are up 13% (versus just an 8.6% increase in the S&P 500).

Gold proved to be such a hit with Costco shoppers that the chain, in March, began selling silver coins as well. Like the gold bars, the coins are only available on the company’s website—and introducing precious metals to its online offerings has been a boon for e-commerce. Then-CFO Richard Galanti, speaking on an earnings call in March, said the increase in online sales last quarter was “led by sales of gold and, very recently, silver.”

A pack of 25 one-ounce silver coins initially cost $625. They are currently sold out.

Costco shoppers were a bit fonder of the gold, if the product ratings are to be believed. Silver customers grumbled about the shipping of the coins, saying the cases were unsealed, letting the coins fall out and, in some cases, get scratched.

There wasn’t a lot they could do: Costco said the coins can’t be returned or refunded, and customers are limited to five cases per membership; plus, they only have one opportunity to buy them.

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