I saw this display at the Silverdale Costco too.
Looked pretty sitting behind that museum display case. I, however, must've looked like a dork when I excitedly ran a couple laps around the nearest aisle looking for the rest of the gear...
Sorry, I don't get it. What is the big deal here? Folks buying online has led to the death of many tackle shops or EBay for that matter re second hand stuff rather than large outlets. Big nasty Cosco selling overpriced stuff in the first place at a 'discount'? It seems like snobbery that we flyguys like to say that we're not. I support 2 Seattle fly shops with most of my business, not huge by many standards but looking at my fly tying stuff the other day (my wife went mental and threatened to burn it if I didn't get most it out our living room and it got me thinking re it's worth as I filled 4 QFC bags and I have about the same again out the way), I dropped ~$600 bucks on that alone plus a further $400 on rods and lines in past 3-4 yrs. Don't mean to be incendiary but "so what?" really sticks in my mind.
I know that cosco sells refurbished items for kitchen aid and dyson. Maybe they cut a deal with sage and sims to sell their refurbs. You have to be in a heavy contract to get into that store so I do not by the "we had no clue" from sage.
Now I am taking a wild ass guess with this comment but figure a Z-Axis 590-4 runs about $350 - $400 wholesale. That still leaves about $100 to a $150 in gross profit with the $499 price shown. So the price isn’t a giveaway. They are making money.
However, that said, I don’t believe that either Sage or Simms would knowingly undercut their established retail base. I believe that they are firmly committed towards the shops and establishing a firm manufacturers set retail price. Anything else really is not in their interest. Several issues: The first being with Costco. They are in legal limbo for buying wholesale items overseas and selling them at below established retail prices here in the US. Omega watches has taken them to court on this matter. The outcome is undetermined. Second, if you take a look at all of the Sierra Trading Post ads that wind up in your spam. They were selling Sage rods at deep discount and that has ceased. Sage rods are now exempted as promotional items. There were some very nice prices on the discontinued VT 2 rods. For example a VT 2 8139 was running around $235 with discount and shipping. Somebody put a stop to the extra discounts. It must have been Sage and good to them for it. Finally, I believe that anybody selling Sage and Simms product a below the established manufacturers prices won’t be getting anymore product and that probably relates to the wholesale chain that provided them as well. I would suggest that if you want what is in stock at Costco, you need to buy it while it is there.
I would doubt Simms and Sage would sell directly to Costco. They probably sold to a middle man who in turn sold to Costco, thus caught them off guard. This happened to us many years ago when our product suddenly showed up in a Anchorage Costco.