The Star on the Item Price Tag

Kashi sign

Some of you may be wondering what that star or asterisk you once saw on an item price tag meant.  Or maybe some of you never even noticed it, or knew to look for one.  While most items don’t have a star in the upper right-hand corner, there are always a few that do in the store.  What it means is that there is no more of the item in the store — what you see in front of you is the last of it.  If you’re really curious you can go to the membership counter and ask if there is more on order or if it is discontinued.  When some of my favorite seasonal items come into the store for a small period of time I make sure to watch for the star, at which point I will buy enough to last me for the year. One example of this is the Smuckers Strawberry Lemonade, with which I watched the sign over the summer, and at the end of the summer I bought three jars, to last me the year.  With the amount of rotating inventory at Costco, and how you never know when they’ll have an item and when they won’t, the star can be a lifesaver.

Have you seen the star before?  Does it ever prompt you to stock up on anything?

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  • Ellen (27 yr employee)

    The asterisk does not mean the item is discontinued but rather that the picking stock there on the floor is all there is in the building. This helps merchandising personnel manage their time – if there’s an asterisk on the picking stock, they don’t waste endless hours craning their necks hunting for more of that product in the steel. You’ll never see an item w/ an asterisk on an endcap because there’s not sufficient quantity on hand (gotta follow those 6 rights!) A better indication of an item being discontinued would be a 7 or a 0 at the end of the price.

    • Insider

      Thanks Ellen, post updated to reflect this information.

  • Ed Perry Green

    What happened to the “Court Classic” shoes? They have been disappearing from the shelves and the Costco staff have been very “Hush Hush” about it! I really depend on these shoes, as do a lot of people and I don’t plan on renewing my membership until they return.

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