Thursday, August 23, 2012

Georgia Getting New Costco...Kinda

Seattle-based Costco Wholesale is bringing their new Business Center store to the Atlanta area next month.  The new concept store, designed to be more oriented towards small business owners, will open in place of an existing warehouse in Morrow.

This will be the first Business Center on the east coast, and the ninth overall in the company.  There are currently four locations in California, two in Washington and one each in Las Vegas, Nevada and Phoenix, Arizona.

The Morrow Costco originally opened in 1999 and is one of ten stores the company operates in the state. 

Business Center locations' variety of merchandise is much different than a typical Costco.  Thousands of items, or over 70% of its merchandise, is not carried in normal Costco stores or any other warehouse clubs. The stores specialize in meeting the needs of food service and convenience store owners.  Neither beer or wine, nor clothes or tires are available in Business Center locations. In addition, neither optical nor fresh meats (deli) will be available, yet pharmacy and prepackaged meats will. 

I spoke with an associate at the store recently and she informed me that the store is in the process of transitioning to the new format and that it should be complete by the middle of next month.  The store has not closed for any portion of the transition and is still open, and when finished, it will remain open to all Costco members.

I took note of a few benefits to the normal everyday consumer in our brief conversation.  The store will open at 7am Monday though Saturday, earlier than any other Costco in the area.  The downside is that the store will not open at all on Sunday.  Additionally, the store will cater to the needs of restaurant and C-store owners, but also have items like whisks and bowls, sold by themselves, without the normal bulk buying Costco customers are accustomed to. 

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1 comment:

Carl Black said...

Am glad to see them repurposing rather than closing this location that has likely always struggled to meet the company's targets. Still, it would've been preferable to see them actually open this type of location in town, where a warehouse is still sorely needed.