Costco Has New Self-Serve Sample Kiosks & Reviews Are Mixed

·2-min read

We're still waiting on flying cars, robot butlers, and other futuristic inventions, but Costco just introduced an innovation that could prove to be the future of in-store samples.

A recent TikTok video from @costcodeals shows an in-store kiosk that's filled with Mott's fruit snacks. The self-serve kiosk, which was spotted at a Costco in Issaquah, Washington, encourages customers to "take one," seemingly taking the place of an actual Costco employee.

According to @costcodeals, the shift to self-serve kiosks is likely due to staff shortages at the big-box store.

"New sample kiosks spotted in issaquah Costco! Looks like they’ve turned to this due to staff shortages from what we are hearing! Is this the future of samples at Costco? Love it? Hate it? Let us know in the comments below! And most definitely people are not just grabbing one," the caption to their TikTok read.

Given that Costco has garnered a great reputation for its hearty samples, people are pretty torn when it comes to the sample kiosks. First and foremost, there were those who seemed most concerned with employees' futures.

"Not sure i like it. But what concerns me is that employees are no longer doing this job. I hope no jobs are in danger," one user commented on Instagram.

Another Instagram user wrote, "I prefer this. Don’t need to deal with people pushing you at the kiosk for a freebie and hovering like vultures. Also, the kiosk will give you like one morsel of a fruit snack lol."

And someone else commented, "Most of our sample people were retired age folks. Like grandpas and grandmas. Even if that just gave them a tiny bit of extra income I would prefer that over this. 😔"

Others expressed that they would be pretty disappointed to no longer have that human-to-human interaction.

"No…I need to talk to my favorite lady with the accent that sings you over to come and try a (fill in the blank.) She makes me smile every time," another user wrote.

Over on TikTok, a user who claimed to work at the Issaquah Costco offered some insight on the kiosk test.

"That's my store! We are testing it because we are the corporate store. It is not to replace sample people. This is for stores who do not have enough," user @gingerb85 wrote.

Well, that's a bit of a relief.

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