It's hard to imagine Costco without the Kirkland Signature brand. But the Costco in-house label almost went by a different name, according to the Kirkland Reporter.
Initially, the Costco team and founder Jim Sinegal wanted to call the brand "Seattle Signature." The Washington-based company wanted to honor their then-headquarters in the Emerald City. They were unable to clear that name, so they opted for "Kirkland Signature" in honor of their flagship warehouse in Kirkland, Washington, per the Kirkland Reporter. These are the 6 key differences between Costco, Sam's Club, and BJ's.
The name put the town of Kirkland on the map, but the idea for the private label itself actually came from outside of the United States. On a visit to the U.K., Sinegal saw that private food labels dominated 50 percent of the food business, according to the Kirkland Reporter. This lead to the big-picture idea for Costco's all-in-one house label.
The idea was definitely a hit with Kirkland items receiving rave reviews from consumers today. The positive feedback is likely because Kirkland items are typically made in the same warehouses and facilities as their brand-name alternatives. One example is Kirkland wine, which Wine Spectator reports comes from carefully selected brand-named wineries. Ultimately, the difference between Kirkland items and brand-name ones comes down to price, not quality. Next, check out the 10 Kirkland items you should always buy from Costco.