Costco has become a stalwart in the Big Box game, largely thanks in part to its insistence on selling hot dogs at the same price for decades regardless of inflation. Sam's Club, the buyer club's chief competitor, is now upsetting the status quo by selling its hot dog combo for even less. While Costco's hot dog and drink combo has long been available for $1.50, Sam's Club announced Tuesday its version of the meal will now be priced at $1.38. The Walmart-owned company previously sold the combo as the same price as Costco.
"The members' dollar [is] going further at Sam's Club, too, with racks of lamb and lobster tails priced more than 40% lower than last year," Walmart chief executive Doug McMillon said (via CNN) in a company earnings call Tuesday.
At one point, the Costco hot dog combo went mega-viral for comments made by company founder and former CEO Jim Sinegal. According to current CEO Craig Jelinek, he tried raising the price of the deal, only for Sinegal to threaten Jelinek's life.
"I came to (Jim Sinegal) once and I said, 'Jim, we can't sell this hot dog for a buck fifty. We are losing our rear ends.' And he said, 'If you raise the effing hot dog, I will kill you. Figure it out,'" Jelinek said during the event (via 425business). "That's all I really needed. By the way, if you raised (the price) to $1.75, it would not be that big of a deal. People would still buy (it). But it's the mindset that when you think of Costco, you think of the $1.50 hot dog (and soda)."
Amid rising prices earlier this year, Jelinek reaffirmed the company's pricing, revealing the company would continue to sell the combo at $1.50 despite inflated costs. As most would expect in this economy, the hot dog deal is often one of the chain's loss leaders, simply around to help draw people into the store.