Tightening the Beltway, the Elite Shop Costco – New York Times

It’s so strange to see this article from the New York Times about Washington’s elite shopping at Costco. I’ve been shopping there for years so it’s no surprise to me that there are deals to be had there, especially for party planners.

To its benefit, Costco has carefully fashioned an upscale-downscale image, and their stores do better in high-end locations, said the company’s chief financial officer, Richard Galanti. In the Washington area, the highest volume location is its store in the Pentagon City neighborhood of Arlington, Va.

“WE knew that we would attract government, we would attract ambassadors, we would attract military personal, we would attract the parties and embassies,” said Joe Potera, the chief operating officer, referring to the Pentagon City store. “We have thousands of sheet cakes during all the major holidays for Pentagon parties, for ambassador parties, for staff parties in the capital. It’s kind of a destination.” Costco also has a chocolate shop that produces molds of the Capitol as well as the Pentagon.

In case you are wondering, the woman in the picture is Sally Quinn, journalist and Washington hostess and wife of Ben Bradlee (former editor of the Washington Post).

I shop at the Pentagon City Costco, too. I’ve never noticed a famous Washingtonian there but I probably wouldn’t recognize them.

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