The notoriously stubborn CEO of Apple has become accustomed to pushing around record moguls and film studio chiefs -- but he may have just overplayed his hand with the brass of the Issaquah, Wash.-based warehouse chain, the New York Post reported Friday.
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The retailer said Thursday it had "agreed to wind down" its sales of iPods and other Apple accessories after several months of negotiations with Apple failed to produce any agreement on discounts.
Richard Galanti, Costco's financial chief, complained to the Seattle Times that Apple had never allowed Costco to sell its chic gadgets at a significant discount, or sell them on Costco's website.
The parting of ways, however, also follows reports in October that Apple had snubbed Costco as it rolled out the iPad -- instead allowing big discount rivals including Target, Walmart and Sam's Clubs to carry the red-hot tablet device.
Costco "is a huge advocate for its members, and is not afraid of making big statements to big vendors that don't provide them with the right motivation to sell their product," said Daniel Binder, a retail analyst at Jefferies.
Binder noted that Costco picked a similar fight over pricing a year earlier with Coca-Cola, with the result that Costco stopped ordering the world's No. 1 soft drink to stock its shelves for more than three weeks.