Thousands of Costco members threatened the warehouse retailer by way of their Facebook page on the heels of the wholesaler’s decision to pull copies of a recently-published book by anti-Obama author Dinesh D’Souza.
The company insisted the decision to pull “America: Imagine a World Without Her” was financial, not political. In interviews Wednesday, Costco’s CEO, Craig Jelinek said the controversy was overblown. He said the book was selling poorly. After beginning sales in 249 locations in early June, by early July, the title had only sold 3,753 copies — or less than 15 copies per store, according to The Seattle Times. Jelinek went on to say the book was being brought back to Costco’s shelves after the outcry over the removal has shot sales into orbit.
According to Newsmax.com, the book had sold some 700 copies in Costco locations over the past week.
This is not the first time that Costco’s book sales efforts have resulted in controversy. Last year, the chain mistakenly included The Bible in the fiction section at one of its warehouse locations.
In a statement, Jelinek said the uproar was “completely unwarranted,” insisting that “Costco is not a bookstore.” He says the chain cannot carry every title members want to read.
Many of Costco’s executives are open backers of Democratic candidates. Conversely, Republican darling and possible presidential candidate Dr. Ben Carson is a member of Costco’s board.