Costco and higher civilization

Is Costco the result of the natural evolution of retail shopping? If I visited an advanced alien civilization, would they have giant warehouses where you could buy Alien Duff's Beer in bulk? I'm not so sure I wouldn't find that high volume low margin model all across the universe. It might be just one of those immutable laws of retail shopping, like Heisenberg's uncertainty principle.
Shopping at Costco is not beautiful. It just distills shopping to its purest essence, the desire for consumption and the desire for good deals. After shopping at Costco, I feel like I feel after gorging myself at Thanksgiving.
I mention this because I'm down to my last two bars of Lever 2000 soap, some 7 or 8 odd years after my mom gave me a Costco pack of 12 bars (or was it 24?) before I left for college.
Tomorrow I must decide whether or not to get up at 5 a.m. to play basketball with the cell phone toting cowboys of biz dev. Ugh. Oh yeah, I think John is flying into town tomorrow. Hmm, I hope he calls me soon.