Costco is unrivaled in the retail industry due to its expansive product selection, bulk pricing, free samples, and iconic food court. Furthermore, no two stores are alike; each of its 848 locations worldwide vary in size, features, and exclusive product offerings.
For instance, the largest superstore can be found in Salt Lake City, Utah, and a former prison now serves as a warehouse in South Korea. These are just some of the many unique Costco locations around the world.
Salt Lake City, Utah
At 235,000 square feet, the Salt Lake City Costco is the largest of its kind in the world. Employees have reported walking up to 10 miles a day within the vast space, which surpasses the average size of 146,000 square feet.
The store opened its doors in 1994 and expanded in 2015, adding a Business Center. The warehouse also features three 3,000-square-foot coolers, one being a large walk-in refrigerated dairy section, and a freezer with whole roasting pigs and lambs.
Have you ever needed a bit more than what the Costco food court has to offer in Kahului, Maui? Just outside the warehouse, members have the option to dine at two different food truck parks. Plate Lunch Marketplace, located near the club’s gas station, offers tacos, Thai food, burgers, and fresh seafood.
Additionally, there is another, newer food truck park across from the food court that opened in 2021. The Hawaii Vacation Guide states that this park is “still getting established so some food trucks come and go,” but you can expect to find poke, sushi, and gyros.
Costco’s warehouse in Juneau, Alaska is comparatively small, measuring only 76,696 square feet. Back in 1993, the company opened the store as an experiment to explore the viability of a smaller market format – an idea that was eventually abandoned after not proving successful. Nevertheless, Kevin Green, Costco’s Wholesale assistant vice president, told KTOO in 2019 that the store “does work in Juneau”.
Despite having a population of just 32,549 people, the store offers a wide range of products, with roughly 3,200 items available. This is far fewer than the average-sized Costco, which carries an estimated 3,800 items.
Head to Greenway Plaza Retail Center in Houston, Texas if you’re looking to break a sweat! Built in 2008, this complex hosts an LA Fitness gym located directly above a Costco. With the Costco’s $1.50 hotdog and soda combo, you’ll definitely need to plan for some extra time at the gym!
Mexico City, Mexico
Mexico City’s Costco, opened in November 2021, differs from the other locations due to it being inconspicuous, tucked away under a large public park. Fast Company reported that along with the roof, parking garage and loading bays, the store is covered by a soccer field, other sports courts, walking paths and a skate park, as well as a green roof that cannot be accessed by humans but is a sanctuary for birds, bees and insects.
To help with Mexico’s water shortage, there are two water systems implemented – a wastewater treatment facility to produce greywater that can be reused and a water catchment system to store rainwater for reuse at the nearby Parque La Mexicana park.
In 2017, Costco made its entrance into France and opened a warehouse located just outside of Paris. Buzzfeed revealed the store’s standout features, including a substantial cheese section featuring large wheels of brie, as well as large bottles of French rosé and an array of French desserts.
Furthermore, customers have been able to find poutine at the food court – a staple of Canadian Costcos! Would you like some crêpes?
Gocheok, South Korea
In January’s shareholder meeting, Costco CEO Craig Jelinek commented, “It’s amazing what you can do in different countries with real estate.” This was in reference to the company’s newest warehouse in South Korea, which opened in October 2022. Rather than being built from scratch, the store was actually converted from a former prison.
When Costco officially made its entrance into the Chinese market in August 2019 with the launch of its first store in Shanghai, the US wholesaler saw extremely impressive results. The opening weekend was bustling with activity, with drivers facing three-hour long wait times for parking spots and shoppers having to endure a half-hour wait to reach the checkout line.
Manhattan, New York
Costco Wholesale opened their first Manhattan store in 2009 and it has been a fantastic addition to the shopping scene. They offer everything from electronics to food, household items to clothing and toys, so there is something for everyone. What’s great about this store is that you get great value for your money.