Muriel Cooper (MCooper@costco.com)
Costco Community Relations & Administration
Dear Ms. Cooper,
I was shopping at Costco's newest location in the Denver area today (4000 River Point Parkway in Sheridan) and was chatting with one of the sample folks about how empty the store was. The employee noted that yes, Mondays are usually quiet there, and while this might be pleasant for me, it also results in a lot of waste because there's a lot of product left unsampled at the end of the day that then must thrown out.
Couldn't it be given to a homeless shelter? I asked. No, I was told, it is Costco's policy that all leftover sample products must be thrown away and may not be given away. This included, as the employee noted for example, six cases of diapers the week before, which might otherwise have been very well-received by a women's shelter.
Now, the employee noted that the sample distributors are not Costco employees themselves, but work for a contractor. So I thought I would write to you to find out if this worker was correct about Costco's policy. Is this a company policy or one decided by the individual stores?
I see from your website that Costco does offer charitable grants. Is it possible for a shelter to seek grants not of money but of leftover samples?
It does seem a shame that unused products, either food or nonperishable items, should be thrown away rather than put to charitable use.
I hope you can shed some light on what Costco's policies are, exactly, in this area, and how an individual, charitable group or community might work with Costco to prevent such waste and help people in need.
Thank you for your response,