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COSTCO Announces New Store Concept in Alaska

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COSTCO Announces New Store Concept in Alaska
Source: Pexels

COSTCO Announces New Store Concept in Alaska

Source: GBR/YouTube

To stir up excitement among Alaskan shoppers, retail giant Costco has announced its plans to open a new store in the Last Frontier. The news surprises many residents who have anticipated greater accessibility to Costco’s offerings in the state.
The new store will be like a big showroom, displaying expensive Costco items, like T.V.s and sofas. Costco already has a big store in Anchorage. The new showroom will be close to it, taking over the space where Toys R Us used to be.

The new store will be like a big showroom, displaying lots of expensive things from Costco, like TVs and sofas. Costco already has a big store in Anchorage. The new showroom will be close to it, taking over the space where Toys R Us used to be.

No Date for the Opening Yet

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Costco just opened another big store in the city earlier this month. At the new showroom, customers can check out and test home appliances and furniture before ordering them online to be delivered to their homes.
You can also find large fridges and heavy gym equipment that they already sell on their website. However, Costco hasn’t said when the showroom will open yet.

Retail Giant Costco

Source: Wikimedia Commons

Costco is a popular American retailer known for its membership-only warehouses, where customers can buy items in bulk. According to The Daily Mail, the company is planning to deviate from its traditional store setup by opening a home showroom.
This week, the company announced that its first showroom in the U.S. will be in Anchorage, Alaska. However, the company plans to open more in other cities later.

Items that Will Be on Display

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Bosses say the showroom will allow customers to “kick the tires” of large household products. These products will include mattresses, grills, table tennis tables, T.V.s, and washing machines before ordering them for home delivery.
Again, the first showroom in Alaska will be housed in an old Toys R Us location, covering approximately 58,000 square feet. This is about a third of the size of a typical warehouse.

It Is the First Showroom to Open in the United States

Source: Wikimedia Commons

The new concept store isn’t the first of its kind for Costco. The large retailer opened its first showroom in Puerto Rico over a year ago. However, the Alaskan store marks the first of its kind in the U.S.
‘You can touch and feel it and kick the tires, so it’s a perfect opportunity to see what you can purchase,’ Christine Lasley, a Costco director of real estate development, told Anchorage Daily News.

Items Will be Available Online

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At Costco, some furniture and appliances are available in stores, but most are only available online. This new idea gives customers more options and lets them try things out in person for comfort and size. It is like IKEA’s showroom, where you can see how things look before buying them.
While many furniture retailers have recently closed or declared bankruptcy, Costco sees a chance to grow by opening standalone furniture stores.

During Tough Economic Times, Furniture Stores Vanish

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Economic hardships that greatly affect the residential real estate market also typically harm the furniture industry.
When people purchase a home, they often follow up by buying new furniture to complement their new space. However, during a downturn or a severe collapse in the real estate market, the furniture retail industry also suffers from an economic downturn.

The Reason for the Store Opening

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According to Lasley, the retailer considered the consumer when developing the plan to open a showroom. “We’re doing this to meet the needs of our members,” Lasley said.
The planned location currently serves as a Costco distribution center. Anchorage News also disclosed that the former Toys R Us location will undergo renovations before the showroom opens.

Plans for Renovations

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According to their reports, Costco has already filed a permit to begin the renovations, and work will commence shortly. The company may be considering rolling out the Home Showroom model.
This comes as more big-box stores, like Toys R Us, go out of business and leave vacant retail spaces behind. It will only be a matter of time before the work begins.

Costco’s Competitors Are Also Making Changes

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Costco is not the only major retailer looking to evolve its model. Sam’s Club, Walmart’s rival to Costco, is also embracing new camera technology that dramatically changes checkouts.
It will allow customers to scan and pay for groceries with a phone app and then walk straight out.

More Future Stores in Mind

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During her conversation with the Anchorage newspaper, Lasley stated that more showrooms may open in the U.S. The spokeswoman revealed that more locations are already planned out.
If the stores experience significant success, many more will open across the U.S. in the coming years.

Costco’s Boss is Leaving

Source: CFO Dive/LinkedIn

Earlier this month, it was revealed that Richard Galanti, Costco’s longstanding finance chief, would depart after 40 years with the company. The announcement of his departure comes as the retailer considers a potential increase in membership fees.
He was renowned for his commitment to maintaining low membership fees and preserving the iconic $1.50 price tag on the company’s famous hot dog and soda combo.

What's Next for Costco?

Source: Sadanand/X

Costco will also open traditional warehouses this year, with plans for 33 new storefronts, contributing to its existing 850 global locations. According to CFO Richard Galanti, this marks an increase from the 23 opened in 2023.
It remains uncertain whether the furniture warehouses will feature a beloved snack bar offering the iconic $1.50 hot dog combos. However, Costco aims to satisfy its customers, so including it wouldn’t be a bad idea.