Thank you for publishing the excellent article, “The Costco Effect” (December 2017 Hearing Review) by Leslie Lee, Ron Barrett, and J. Connon Samuel.1 It was refreshing to see the application of data and analysis to Costco’s impact on the hearing aid market rather than hyperbole.
We would, however, like to draw your attention to one point. The authors reference “the entry-level hearing aids Costco dispenses.” We take issue with this characterization. First, we are not sure what an “entry-level” hearing aid even is. We assume it is intended to mean “economy-level” hearing aids as used in your surveys.2 Costco’s line-up does not fit within “entry” or “economy-level” categories. Rather, we sell premium hearing aids at an economy price. Our current hearing aid lineup includes:
- Legato (Rexton)
- Brio 3 (Phonak)
- Forte (ReSound)
- Zerena 9 and Juna 9 (Bernafon)
- Kirkland Signature 8.0 RIC (Rexton)
The specifications are available by clicking on the product links above, and we believe it is without question that they are premium devices.
—M. Christian Anthis, Costco, Issaquah, Wash
- Lee L, Barrett R, Samuel JC. The Costco effect. Hearing Review. 2017;24(12):14-19.
- Strom KE. HR 2013 dispenser survey: Dispensing in the age of internet and big box retailers. Hearing Review. 2014;21(4):22-28.