Costco reveals new digital membership card — here’s where you can use it

By RetailFOXBusiness

Costco warns shoppers over possible price hikes due to tariffs; Dollar Tree adds alcohol to its stores

Morning Business Outlook: Costco announces the U.S. trade war with China will lead to higher prices; Dollar Tree, owners of the nationwide discount shopping chain Family Dollar, say about 1,000 of their stores will begin selling alcohol.

Costco membership is going digital.

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The wholesale retailer launched its digital membership card this week, according to an Instagram post on Thursday.

Now members won’t have to fumble through their wallets to find their physical card at the door or checkout line. Instead, all they need is a smartphone and the Costco app.

“The Digital Membership Card is now available on the Costco app,” the Instagram post said. “Create a Costco.com account to access your card.”

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Set up for the digital membership card takes six steps, according to the retailer’s website, beginning with downloading the Costco app. The process also requires member verification online.

The digital membership card can only be used in stores in the U.S. and Canada.

It also isn’t currently accepted at Costco gas stations, according to a comment on the Instagram post.

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Earlier this month, the Issaquah, Washington-based membership wholesaler reported its comparable sales were up last month even as many retailers have struggled.

In fact, the company has even become a popular store to buy clothes.

Despite the absence of fitting rooms and window displays, the membership-based chain sells more than $7 billion a year in clothing and footwear sales, which is more than apparel retailers such as Old Navy or Ralph Lauren, The Washington Post reported earlier this month.

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Even though people are turning more to online shopping, most of Costco’s business continues to happen in-store, with apparel sales increasing about 9 percent every year since 2015, according to the outlet.

What helps is that the chain sells brands such as Calvin Klein, Birkenstock and Tommy Hilfiger -- as well as Costco’s Kirkland Signature brand -- at lower prices than other stores, The Post reported.

FOX Business’ James Leggate contributed to this report.