Racked is no longer publishing. Thank you to everyone who read our work over the years. The archives will remain available here; for new stories, head over to Vox.com, where our staff is covering consumer culture for The Goods by Vox. You can also see what we’re up to by signing up here.
Who shops at East Harlem's Costco? The New York Times takes a look at this enduring mystery and discovers that the answer is "pretty much everybody." The accompanying slideshow stars—among other shoppers—some Upper East Siders stocking up on yogurt, a wedding shoe designer from Morningside Heights buying a Burberry handbag, and a Harlem family buying 40 pounds of kitty litter for their Persians. Not everyone featured lives above 59th Street: A group of tourists from Colombia (right) explain that they hit Costcos in Miami or NYC twice a year because there's no supermarket as big in Bogota.
If the Costco is an uptown melting pot, though, its sales patterns reflect a certain New Yorkiness. People are constantly looking for merchandise that's healthy, organic, low-calorie and kosher. And they like things small, says general manager Rob Coope: "At most Costcos, large tubs of Polly-O mozzarella easily outsell containers of buffalo mozzarella at nearly triple the per-pound price. Not in Manhattan, though Mr. Coope is still trying to determine whether that is more about a taste for finer things or a lack of refrigerator space."
· A 30-Pack of Charmin, but Where to Store It? [NYT]
· East Harlem's Costco Explains High Price of Parking [Racked NY]
· Now Open: Free Food, Expensive Parking at Costco [Racked NY]