Guest Post: My Day Off of Work for the Grand Opening of Costco in Manhattan

November 14th, 2009 · 7 Comments

[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
United States
212.896.5873

Food Court Food Court
Hearing Aids Hearing Aids
Optical Department Optical Department
Pharmacy Pharmacy
Phone:  212.896.5882
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7 Responses so far ↓

  1. 1 Robin // 2009.11.25 at 2:54 am

    I was in NYC when the Manhattan store opened and got a kick out of it making the evening news.

    It became a joke with my friends, as for some reason Costco would come up every few minutes in conversation.

    I can’t ‘picture’ the Edison, NJ store in my mind, making me think it was the familiar Costco layout. The big difference was that they had a kosher section, which included packaged goods and took up an entire long, double sided refrigerator case. (The open type, not the one with the glass doors) While I don’t keep kosher, I was still jealous by the selection.

    The Queens store appeared to smaller that other stores I’ve been to and even when it wasn’t overly crowed aisle seem to become congested. The layout was also different. Instead of the custom built building, this location seems to have squeezed Costco into less footage. Rather than have the shorter drugs/groceries on one side, non-groceries on the other and a wider section in the middle which includes the clothing, books, and seasonal items, there was only a short and wide aisle, with frozen food in the middle of the store, while the rest of the food was in the back. Packaged bread wasn’t near the bakery. I found it very confusing trying to find thing.

    The Queens store also had a kosher section, though it had less selection than the NJ store. I had to think on what we (Orland0) have that they don’t and realize we have a lot more furniture and outdoor furnishings that the other stores didn’t seem to have.

  2. 2 robin solod // 2009.11.20 at 6:35 am

    OH MY GOD!This is by far the best store in NYC. No more Fairway or WHole Foods.. The prices are great. I went on Sat and the area is hopping and the people were so nice.
    Try out the Kosher Salmon for 23.00. Its farm raised and so fresh. I was able to cut 10 pieces from the one large piece. Very very tasty…. Try the prepared Penne and SHrimp dish.. It 13.00 and I had it for 5 nights. There is about 4 punds of shrimp with penne pasta and a light sauce…… FABULOUS! Good Bye Fairway for good. Heading up there this morning again to get some yummy muffins…. and some more shrimp! OWOWOWO….. ENjoy shopping at Costco…… BTW-THe staff could not be nicer and SOOOOO HELPFUL!!!!! BYE BYE WHOLE FOODS!

  3. 3 Blair B // 2009.11.17 at 6:34 pm

    I was able to attend the “Pre-Opening” night Party last week and it was one big party from 6PM to 8PM
    No shopping was allowed and the registers were still wrapped up in plastic but there was so much to eat and drink. On the way out there were hot dogs cut into 1/3’s so I had to try one as well as some chicken Bake. I noticed that the lighting was excellent. Much better than any other Costco I have been in.
    The 116th street crosstown bus got me all the way to 106th & Columbus and I found my way home from there.
    I went back on Saturday morning during my run in Central Park. Yes we actually ran to Costco which I must say was a first. We ended up running back most of the way as well. I carried my friends 3 pound bag of walnuts in one arm and a 2 pound bag of Pecans in the other.
    GREAT to have Costco on the Island!!! and yes it makes for a great destination run….

  4. 4 Kevin // 2009.11.16 at 1:08 pm

    costco rotisserie chicken…nom nom nom!!

  5. 5 Linnea // 2009.11.15 at 6:14 pm

    A great read. I hope the hub is on the mend. My old furnace finally died. I live in the NE USA and have been keeping warm so far with space heaters from Costco. But I will have to get a new furnace. I’ve been considering buying one from Costco. Anyone have any experience or advice for me?

  6. 6 Emily // 2009.11.14 at 9:57 pm

    WOW! I’m shocked at the watches!

  7. 7 Nabeela // 2009.11.14 at 4:55 pm

    That sounds like soooo much fun :)

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