If you’re a Costco shopper it’s likely that you know that Kirkland Signature is Costco’s own branded product line.

Costco Store Front

Kirkland Signature at Costco

But have you ever actually wondered Why Every Costco Product is Called ‘Kirkland Signature’?

Related: Who makes Kirkland products?

Costco has everything from toilet paper to bags of chips that are labeled under the Kirkland Signature brand.

In fact, just one walk up and down the isles will reveal hundreds of Kirkland Signature products. But why is that?

According to reports, back in the 1990’s, Jim Sinegal, Costco’s co-founder and CEO at the time, decided it was time to overhaul Costco’s private-label strategy.

He found that consumers were switching from name brands to private-label house brands simply because cost of the name brand items were rising.

They then landed on the Kirkland Signature name after realizing that instead of having hundreds of different names for private-label products, having one recognizable name was the way to go.


“The conventional wisdom said that you had to have a different name for every class of product that you had — a la Sears Roebuck with the Kenmore appliances and the DieHard batteries and the Craftsman tools,” Sinegal said in 2019. “We looked at it and we said, you know, we’re in so many countries and we have such a wide array of products we’ll have a room full of attorneys that are doing nothing but trying to clear these names.”

Oh and get this – -“Seattle Signature” was also considered as the brand’s private-label name but Costco couldn’t trademark the name so they stuck with Kirkland Signature.

“We liked it,” Sinegal said. “We cleared it for every country and every product category that we would have. That made it simple.”

Bottom line is – Costco went with a simple, two word private label they could use on all of their branded items. It makes it easy and simple to remember.

And if you look at other retailers like Sam’s Club (they have Members Mark) or Walmart (they have Great Value) you’ll see that one private label for all products is the way to go.

Interesting, right? And now you know why Costco names all of their branded products Kirkland Signature.

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