Sam’s Club makes its hot dog combo cheaper than Costco’s
It means war. A hot dog war.
Here in America, apparently, we have a big hot dog showdown at a warehouse store right now. Who knew this was going to happen?
In a mean but rather funny act of corporate trolling, Sam’s Club is slashing the price of its $1.50 hot dog combo from 12 cents to $1.38. This buys you a hot dog and a soda.
Big deal, you say?
Well, we’re saying that’s definitely Sam’s Club’s way of playing rival Costco, which has its own long-running $1.50 hot dog combo. And Costco is famous for its combination of super cheap hot dogs and sodas, which costs the same since 1985.
Costco CEO W. Craig Jelinek once told a Chamber of Commerce crowd that keeping the price at $1.50 was a big deal — sort of a matter of life and death, in fact.
“I came up to (Costco co-founder Jim Sinegal) one time and said, ‘Jim, we can’t sell this hot dog for a dollar fifty. We lose our backs. And he said, ‘If you raise that fucking hot dog, I’ll kill you. Understand it. ”
(People on Reddit quickly drafted T-shirt designs and logos with this quote “I will kill you”. Apparently, it’s a bit iconic.)
Now here comes Sam’s Club, stirring up trouble – unilaterally reducing the price of his $1.50 combo by a whole 12 cents, without asking anyone’s permission or anything! Oh, those cheeky devils at Sam’s Club!
They even had the nerve to put out a totally innocent-sounding press release, practically batting their eyelashes, saying, “Dropping the price by twelve cents on a member-favorite item is just another way of showing that we care about every penny (literally) they spend with us.
Riiiiiiight. And maybe also stick to Costco a bit.
Sam’s Club and Costco are America’s two giant membership-only retail warehouse club chains, and for decades they’ve offered affordable hot dogs as a member perk. Inflation has not changed this strategy, despite the price of frankfurters rising 15% in just one year.
Hot dogs are seen as a loss leader, a strategy designed to entice shoppers to stay in the store a bit longer. So you stop in for a cheap snack, and the more time you spend wandering around inside the massive discount store, the more likely you are to see something you want and make an impulse purchase.
So go ahead. Enjoy this $1.50 (or $1.38) hot dog and a soda. Tasty, isn’t it?
Just remember why it’s there.
Mike Brassfield ([email protected]listen)) is a lead writer for The Penny Hoarder.