Is Costco The Largest Seller Of Hearing Aids? Yep, You Heard That Right

When Costco (NASDAQ:COST) recently mentioned during a monthly revenue analyst call that its hearing aids are selling extremely well, it seemed an odd product to highlight. But Richard Chavez, Costco's senior vice president in charge of ancillary businesses, said yes, its hearing-aid business was ultra-strong. How much revenue is involved in hearing-aids? "A lot. We're now one of the largest—if not the largest—hearing-aid distributors in the market, but I really don't want anyone to know that." (Note to all retail SVPs: If there's something that you really don't want anyone to know, telling it to a BusinessWeek reporter is probably not the best move.) Cornering a high-tech, health-care market seems like an anomaly for a business built on 5-pound bags of gummy bears. After all, Costco doesn't have to carefully customize to each buyer of its toilet paper or vats of moisturizer. Story