Delmar, you're correct, Costco ships to stores based on climate patterns and also neighborhood demographics. I posted earlier how, in Northern Virginia, two Costco's near me always have widely varying inventory based on demographics (one in a very affluent neighborhood, another more working-class). I suspect they know exactly what sells in any given neighborhood. We BPL readers are not a huge demographic, but somebody at Kirkland is clearly interested in offering good quality UL and semi-UL gear at great prices.
All my Kirkland and Hawke & Co (Costco's other down supplier) down from Costco are individually as well made as Patagonia, and possibly better made, IMHO. YMMV.
I don't know why Costco.Com doesn't carry more down and offer it longer online. Having lived in Florida I know how hard it is to find decent cold weather gear in the Sunbelt. Costco.com would be perfect for that. Let's hope somebody at Kirkland is reading these Costco threads and bringing them into meetings to push for more good gear and longer inventory lifespans.
As of Thanksgiving there were still abundant men's down jackets and vests at 2 of the 3 Costcos in Northern Virginia and prices for the vests were down from $25 to $19. Prices definitely vary by store and managers must have a lot of pricing discretion. Once they're gone they're gone. 10 days is a long time in a Costco seasonal product cycle.
By January even though winter has months to go for most of the country, Costco and other retailers will be stocked for Spring. Always seems to me they;re missing a lot of their potential market. Retail has some aspects that seem an illogical mystery.