If you wanted to meet Costco co-founder/CEO Jim Sinegal and president Craig Jelinek this morning, all you had to do was to be at the new Costco that opened up today at 8AM in Rego Park, Queens in New York City.
There was Craig checking out the rotisserie chicken samples and saying hello to customers and staff while Jim quietly wandered through the clothing examining the shirts. Certainly Costco doesn’t have as many locations as McDonalds but it was still nice to see the company’s most senior leadership wandering around their newest location across the country from their HQ. I had the pleasure to shake hands with Jim, who in my opinion, along with Sol Price, forever changed the retail industry with their creation of the Price Club/Costco model. Jim has only increased the quality, service, and offerings of their stores while other big box stores seem to be in a constant race for the bottom.
Here is my quick early review to the new Costco: 2 thumbs up.
- Costco Wholesale #1070,
- 61-35 Junction Blvd,
- Rego Park, NY 11374
- M-F 10:00am – 8:30pm
- Sa 9:30am – 6:00pm
- Sun 10:00am – 6:00pm
It’s similar to most other Costcos (surprise) but it doesn’t have that massive warehouse feeling because it isn’t a massive warehouse. I would guess it’s 60-70% the size of their largest warehouses and there are lower ceilings, giving it more of a Target feeling. The store is on the lower level of the shopping center and the parking lot goes all the way down to the store. At Sears, which shares the parking lot, they charge $2 for 2 hours. I assume it’s a similar charge (unfortunately). It’s a very convenient location right next to the Long Island Expressway and Queens Boulevard. One thing I specifically noticed is that it’s very bright (being in a basement there is no reliance on skylights) and it’s also very clean, but it’s new so who knows how long that’ll last. (Here’s hoping) The layout will seem largely familiar, (bakery in back, tvs in front, clothes in middle) but because the location is actually wider than it seems it’s slightly disorienting coming from other Costcos. (When you go, you’ll know what I mean).
Some of their sections and selections were much smaller than other, more suburban Costcos. The area surrounding the new Costco tends to be urban, middle class, mostly apartment dwellers; the store was stocked appropriately. There were a lot fewer of the bigger outdoorsy things such as kids playgrounds or sheds or boats that you can get at their other stores. Their food selection however seemed more diverse and larger. Strangely the DVD selection was tiny, without any kids Disney DVD movies and barely any adult dvd movies. The book selection was good but small, limited to current popular books. A number of really great kids book packs (Roald Dahl & Beatrix Potter) The television department selection was about 1/2 the size that I’ve seen at other Costcos. Their bakery is good sized and has a kosher heckscher (certificate saying all the bakery food is kosher).
- I noticed the food/hotdog stand was running but I didn’t get a chance to check out their selections.
- Great deal on Skecher Shape Up sneakers for $69 (my wife was looking for them and the cheapest we saw was $99)
- In the deli section they had something I’d never seen before, Costco homemade Paella.
- They also had a large antipasto “bar” and help-yourself olive “bar”
- Seemed to be a few more company sample displays (such as Junior cheesecakes) as opposed to regular sample servers. Either because it’s a grand opening or Costco is moving in this direction.
- Great location for them, 5 min from Laguardia and near 3 major highways. I’m just glad I don’t live immediately nearby and have to put up with all the traffic it will generate.
- No tire center….right when I need new tires.
The opening was nice, tons of staff and Costco muckety-mucks around to help or gawk, free coffee and soda, tons of samples (though who wants to eat buffalo chicken meatballs at 8AM?) The shopping center is shared with a Century 21, Kohls, and TJ Maxx. Sears/Old Navy/Bed Bath Beyond/Marshalls are across the street.
Definitely an addition to the neighborhood, personally it will be nice to have a Costco 7 minutes away, but I can only imagine what traffic will be like around there on a weekend.