Costco's hands-on packaging guy

Scott Carnie is general manager of Costco Wholesale's East Coast Packaging operations in New Jersey.

Pw 9274 Web Costco Scott

PW: What's your background?

Carnie: I have been general manager here for 11 years and had been West Coast assistant GM prior. I worked for PriceCo club stores before that. I've worked for club stores for a total of 29 years.

PW: What do you like best about your involvement
in packaging?

Carnie: It's one of the most unrestricted and thought-provoking jobs I can imagine. I'm sort of a freelancer in packaging development. I enjoy my work so much it scares me!

PW: Where do you get your packaging ideas?

Carnie: Everywhere. I listen to what's being talked about whether it be for food or baked goods or pet foods. I then select the best available materials for the right reasons.

PW: And those reasons are...?

Carnie: Packaging needs to be sustainable. And we must be able to use and run our packaging in an
efficient manner.

PW: Costco operates its own
thermoformers and tooling shop?

Carnie: Yes, we found it more efficient to have our own machine tooling shop, so I've set up CNC machinery here. Those machines are not cheap, but they are worth it.

PW: What would make club store packaging better?

Carnie: If I knew, I'd be making those changes right now or moving in that direction.

PW: What lesson have you learned over the years?

Carnie: To have our buyers and corporate managers together in the same room when I'm pitching a package.

(see the Costco feature story, Costco unboxed, also from the November 2006 issue)

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