[This guest post was written by Gabe, and obviously he’s from New York. I impressed that he has so much Costco spirit that he took the day off of work to attend the grand opening of the new Manhattan Costco! It’s also great to get some impressions about the new store that don’t come for a reporter.]
Yesterday was a great day. I took the day off of work to attend the grand opening of the first Costco in Manhattan. This is a big step for Costco. I emailed member services about 6 months ago regarding this rumor and all they said was that “I’ve heard it’s true” but don’t have any other info. Well, finally the day has come; the day Manhattanites won’t have to travel off of the island to find HIGH QUALITY GOODS AT LOW PRICES!
My first impressions of the new site were very good. The location is in the upper-upper east side of Manhattan right next to FDR Drive. I rented a “Drive Mint” car and drove straight across 116th street. Right before you think you’re getting onto the FDR there were attendants and signs pointing to the Costco parking lot (the complex is also shared with Best Buy, PetSmart and some other franchises). Parking is adequate given the fact that the complex is still developing. Also, it’s great that it’s not two levels like the Brooklyn Costco; however, it’s a bit smaller than the Queens and Brooklyn locations, but that only makes sense as the consumer base and geographic location are different.
I got there at 9:30am, 30 minutes after they opened. There were a lot of people around…sorta felt like a normal Friday after-work shopping crowd, but on a Thursday morning. The staff member’s were ULTRA polite. I have to give it to them. If they keep up that kind of service they’ll re-invent the word CUSTOMER SERVICE!
The layout of the store was the usual Costco signature. Electronics and big ticket items near the entrance and more everyday items towards the rear of the store. I was shocked to see that they stocked Rolex, IWC, and Patek Philippe watches. I usually would find Omega’s at various locations but never names of the prior caliber. They also had a 3.43 carat (2.33 carat center stone) purple pink diamond ring showcasing for $254k!!!
So, was it worth the day off from my job? All I can say is YES! It actually felt like a cocktail party with the staff going around offering samples of smoothies and frozen yogurt; though I was made fun of by my peers upon my return today, LOL! I hope the customer service keeps up with the momentum. That’s a huge factor for me and I know that some regions of the USA do it better than others. If anyone is from NYC, I urge you to check out the new Costco in the UES (Upper East Side)!!!
Details about the new location:
517 E 117th St
New York, New York 10035