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Entries in Costco (7)

Friday
Feb152013

Tiffany Sues Costco, Alleging Sale of Counterfeit Rings

Chris Weeks/WireImage(NEW YORK) -- Luxury jewelry company Tiffany & Co. filed a lawsuit against Costco on Thursday, claiming that the wholesaler has been selling fake Tiffany diamond rings.

According to the Wall Street Journal, Tiffany was alerted to the fraudulent rings by a Costco shopper in Huntington Beach, Calif., who noticed a pair of diamond rings identified as "Platinum Tiffany." A one-carat ring was reportedly being sold for $6,400, but a Tiffany spokeswoman told the Journal that their cheapest one-carat diamond engagement ring sells for $11,000.

In the suit, filed in U.S. District Court in Manhattan, N.Y., Tiffany alleges that “Costco had apparently been selling different styles of rings for many years that it has falsely identified on in-store signage as ‘Tiffany,’” according to Bloomberg News.

“We now know that there are hundreds if not thousands of Costco members who think they bought a Tiffany engagement ring at Costco, which they didn’t,” said Jeffrey Mitchell, Tiffany's lawyer, in a statement reported by Bloomberg. “Costco knew what it was doing when it used the Tiffany trademark to sell rings that had nothing to do with Tiffany.”

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Dec132012

Costco Co-Workers Split $50M Powerball Win

William Thomas Cain/Getty Images(WALTHAM, Mass.) -- The Massachusetts Lottery confirmed two Costco co-workers are the winners of a $50 million Powerball prize.

According to lottery officials, 52-year-old Rosa DeLeon and 54-year-old Reginald LeBlanc, who work at the Costco in Waltham, Mass., bought the winning ticket to Wednesday’s jackpot.

The Boston Globe reports that over the past 10 months, DeLeon would regularly buy two Powerball tickets, write their names on the back, and give LeBlanc a copy.

On Thursday, her weekly purchases paid off.

The two appeared at a news conference at state lottery headquarters to accept a $33 million lump-sum payment, which comes to $23.1 million after taxes.

The winning ticket, sold at a Shell gas station in Lexington, Mass., had the numbers 8-10-25-36-44, and a Powerball of 28.

“About a year ago we sold a $1 million ticket. Not a $50 million, but still pretty good,” Shell store manager Adam Muise told ABC News.

Muise says LeBlanc came into his store this morning with the winning ticket, somewhat in shock.

“He walked in and he stood off to the side and didn’t really say anything,” Muise said. “We asked if he needed help with anything and continued to talk about someone winning, and he calmly said, ‘I won.’ He had a copy of the winning ticket.”

Muise said his fellow store workers congratulated LeBlanc, who said he was waiting for the friend with whom he was splitting the money.

The lucky store location, which sold a $1 million winning scratch-off ticket last year, will receive a $50,000 commission for selling the ticket.

“I hope that people feel that we’re lucky and come in and buy some lottery tickets and some more Powerball, and help our sales out over here,” Muise said.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Monday
Oct082012

Costco Adds Fine Art to Its Inventory

Spencer Platt/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Costco is famous for stretching the dollar.  From groceries to electronics, beauty supplies to sporting goods, the warehouse club retailer offers it all, and now it’s adding something else to its inventory -- fine art.

Can you imagine getting a Matisse lithograph or an Andy Warhol just over $1,000 each?

Lots of people apparently have jumped at that chance.  Since the pieces were listed on Costco’s website two weeks ago, they’ve all sold out, including Kiku, a Warhol print that was being offered for $1,349.99; the Matisse lithograph, Femme au Chapeau, for $1,049; and Figure by Georges Braque, for $1,549.99.

Costco keeps the costs below those of many art galleries by charging no more than a 14 percent mark-up -- the same maximum mark-up on all the other items it sells.

The artwork will join other luxury offerings at Costco, including fine jewelry and designer wedding dressings.

The sale of fine art is certainly not new to discount chains.  In the 1970s, Sears offered Picassos, Rembrandts and Chagalls through its catalog.

Costco, too, has made a foray into the sales of fine art before, but it put a stop to that aspect of its operation when questions were raised about the authenticity of the some of the works it had sold.

The art comes with a certificate of authenticity and a money-back guarantee.  Purchasers can get a full refund within 90 days of purchase.

Costco declined to comment to ABC News on Sunday.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Aug142012

Washington Residents Fed Up with Canadians Taking over Local Costco

Spencer Platt/Getty Images(BELLINGHAM, Wash.) -- Residents of Bellingham, Wash., are fed up with Canadian shoppers who cross the border and buy up the goods at the local Costco.

Canadian residents are driving less than 30 miles across the U.S. border and taking full advantage of the favorable exchange rate when buying food, gas and other items.  Right now, Canada’s dollar is much stronger than the U.S. dollar.  Gas is more than a buck less in the U.S., and milk is nearly $5 a gallon less.

Many British Colombia license plates have been popping up in the Costco lot, preventing locals from finding spots, according to many Bellingham residents.  Videos have been posted to YouTube showing long lines at checkout and a mad dash for cheap American milk in the store.

Things have gotten so bad for local residents that they have started a Facebook page with the pleading title, “Bellingham Costco Needs a Special Time Just for Americans.”

“It’s like the border dropped 25 miles.  Americans should be able to find parking in their own country,” reads one post.

As of Tuesday morning, the Facebook page has more than  2,900 “Likes” and tons of debates between Americans and Canadians.

A senior vice president at Costco told CBC News that anyone with a Costco membership can shop at any store in the world.

As long as the exchange rate stays in favor of the neighbors to the north, the residents of Bellingham, Wash., can expect more of the same.

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Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Monday
Jul232012

Costco Co-Founder Jim Sinegal Backs President Obama on Business; Seeks to Stop Bleeding from Obama's 'You Didn't Build That' Line

Spencer Platt/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- President Obama is getting some help defending his record toward small businesses from a major player in the corporate world.

Former Costco CEO and co-founder Jim Sinegal endorsed the president’s economic policies and bid for a second term in an email message Monday night to be blasted out by the Obama campaign.

The show of support comes amid an onslaught of attacks by Republicans that paint Obama as anti-business, including a new TV ad by presumptive GOP nominee Mitt Romney that uses out-of-context remarks by the president to suggest he has denigrated small business owners’ success.

“You might be seeing some ads or hearing some folks say that President Obama doesn’t support small business owners,” Sinegal wrote. “But he understands that small businesses grow and prosper because of individual initiative -- because entrepreneurs like you and me do the hard work it takes, and we can’t do it alone.”

Speaking in Roanoke, Va. earlier this month, Obama pushed the importance of continued government investments in public services and infrastructure that many U.S. businesses rely on to function.

“If you were successful, somebody along the line gave you some help,” Obama said. “Somebody helped to create this unbelievable American system that we have that allowed you to thrive. Somebody invested in roads and bridges. If you’ve got a business, you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen.”

Republicans have seized on the line “you didn’t build that” because it appeared Obama was speaking directly to business owners about their businesses.

Making subtle reference to Obama’s comment, Sinegal wrote supportively, “Thanks to a strong nationwide transportation system and internal infrastructure, we’ve opened warehouses across the country and around the world.”

“I’m proud to support him in this election,” he wrote. “Don’t let Mitt Romney’s misleading ads or false attacks tell you otherwise -- President Obama’s support for small business owners is unwavering.”

Sinegal’s support for Obama does not come as a surprise.  A longtime and generous Democratic donor, he maxed out his personal financial contribution to Obama in 2008 and will host the president Tuesday at his Hunts Point, Wash., home for two high-dollar fundraisers for the 2012 campaign.  Sinegal also publicly advocated for Obama’s health care law at the height of debate in 2009.

Costco is the nation’s second-largest retailer behind Walmart, with 605 stores and 160,000 employees. Sinegal founded it in 1983.

The email to Obama supporters, and an accompanying campaign Web video that claims Romney somehow “tampered” with Obama’s own on-the-record remarks, after previous attempts from the Obama administration to walk the comments back failed.  

Interestingly, the web ad claims Obama was misquoted by Romney by not showing the president's "you didn't build that" line -- insinuating it was never said -- though the line has been played countless times, and was echoed by White House's own official transcript of the event.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Sunday
Mar272011

Costco Asks State to Change Liquor Laws, Again

Getty(KIRKLAND, Wash.) -- Wholesale giant Costco is taking another shot at the privatization of liquor, just months after its proposed I-1100 bill was rejected.

In November, Costco proposed a bill that would allow any store with a liquor license to sell hard liquor, thereby eliminating the state from cashing in on what private retailers like Costco believed would be a profitable move.

However, the company's pitch failed to convince lawmakers that the state should hand over the right to sell booze to anyone who wants to, prompting Costco to revaluate its plan.

As a result, Costco is now pushing for a compromise -- allow any store more than 9,000 square feet the right to sell booze, and recoup additional tax revenue in return.

The proposal would include a profit-sharing plan whereby the state would potentially receive funds upfront by the retailer and subsequent liquor tax on a per-year basis.

State officials have yet to comment on Costco's latest pitch.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Mar022011

Stocks Have a Mixed Wednesday

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Stock market averages are mixed Wednesday as a positive report on jobs trimmed earlier losses for stocks, but the February employment report comes out on Friday.

Gold prices are up again, now at $1,440 an ounce, a gain of ten dollars, and global oil prices are above a hundred one dollars a barrel. Fears about supply are a major drag on financial markets. If gasoline and oil prices stay high they could cut U.S. economic growth . 

The office supply retailer Staples reports an 18 percent rise in fourth quarter profits, but sales were flat.

Strong sales for Costco as profits rose and the result beat analyst expectations. Sales at U.S. Costco stores rose 7 per cent in the latest quarter. 

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio







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