Yes. You read correctly. If you're a Costco lover, and we know you're out there, we'll give you a moment to wipe the tear that was recently shed.
Duluth is officially on Costco's radar for a location to open tentatively in 2016. Ok, it may be two years off, but hey... We wanted to give you a fair warning because after all, you're probably going to need to add that addition to your home in order to store all those good savings you'll encounter. That's right. It's time to create your own personal... Costco mini-warehouse.
Unfamiliar with Costco? We don't blame you as there are no locations in Northern Minnesota and they're relatively new to the Minnesota market. So then, you're probably wondering...what IS Costco like? Two words. Sam's Club. Literally... almost to T. Except (like the Walmart / Target color scheme) you'll find a red theme spread throughout Costco stores, polar opposite of the blue seen in Sam's Club locations. You'll also find a whole new "house brand" by Costco called "Kirkland's Signature Brand." While Sam's Club is still the largest warehouse retailer in the U.S. store count wise, Costco has the largest total sales volume out of any warehouse retailer in the U.S. We're talking total annual sales near $97...billion.
Costco works essentially the same way as Sam's Club. You'll find low prices and items in bulk. The stores tend to only carry one brand of a product, meaning you aren't going to find eight brands of toothpaste. You'll find one, or maybe two if the house brand has a toothpaste product of their own. Oh yeah, your package will also probably include three tubes of toothpaste because let's be honest... it never goes bad, right?
Costco works on a member basis like Sam's Club... meaning... you've got to be a Costco member to shop there. Memberships start at $55 a year and each member can bring up to two guests. However, the member is the only person allowed to pay for the purchases. There also is only ONE credit card accepted; American Express. All other payments must either be debit card based, otherwise by cash or check, or a Costco Cash Card.
One thing that Costco is known for (something that sets them apart from Sam's club) are their in house services. Yes, they have the typical services like a photo center, pharmacy, liquor store, food services, gas station and optical center... but Costco also has investment brokers, a travel agency, insurance agents, and even construction services.
Currently the company has over 450 locations in the U.S, including eight locations in Minnesota (six in the Twin Cities area, one in Baxter, and one in Rochester).
So what does it exactly mean when we say Costco has Duluth on their radar for 2016? It means that the are actively looking at the Duluth market for a new location. The company is currently looking within Duluth to find site large enough to construct the typical 150,000+ square foot store. However, good news is that they feel as if they are close to securing a space and therefore hope to have a location open in Duluth by 2016. Have a site in mind? Let's Talk.
So Duluthians, consider yourself warned. Costco is coming. Begin your preparations for savings now.