First time I heard about Costco was in 2014. I just landed in Los Angeles and settled on Venice Blvd and Walgrove Ave. A few blocks away on Washington Ave is Costco - I also discovered and became a regular at the In-N-Out on that block. I didn't fully grasp the power of Costco at first. As a european, it reminded me Metro. Metro is a food wholesaler. We go there to buy high quantity of things we know, at the best price. We needed a 'professional' card to enter the store though. We had one thanks to our society activity [organizing events and weekends]. I remember at school, it was well perceived to hold a Metro card. You could definitely leverage this.