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USA Today reports that "Costco has started to bring back its legendary free samples to some clubs, but it's no longer the free food smorgasbord it once was.  Samples are now prepackaged items and kept behind plexiglass shields."

Samples reportedly are being offered in about 30 stores, and a national rollout will depend on how localities reopen their economies and if the pandemic recedes to any degree.

The story says that "while samples are coming back, Costco has stopped selling its half sheet cakes at all U.S. clubs, with no plans to bring them back.

"We are focusing on our smaller 10-inch White and 10-inch Chocolate Cakes that seem to be resonating with our members," the company said in a statement.

If customers are pleased by the return of samples, they are displeased by the elimination of the sheet cakes, and took to social media to say so.

KC's View:

A lot of companies will be looking at Costco to see how it handles the sampling issue … it always has been the gold standard for this part of the business, and its success will be heartening to many other retailers.