Costco Is Trying a Brand-New Store Concept

By: Ben Campbell | Published: Mar 28, 2024

One of America’s favorite retail wholesalers, Costco, has announced its plans to open a new location in Alaska that will be unlike anything regular shoppers are used to.

Their new store will feature a showroom-like setup that will showcase many of the retailer’s big-ticket items, including electrical appliances and furniture.

Costco Wholesale Corporation

Costco is an American wholesale retailer typically known for its membership-only warehouses, which offer customers items in bulk.

Advertisement
An image of a Costco warehouse in Mexico

Source: Wikimedia

However, the American retailer is set to stray from its traditional store setup as it aims to open a home showroom store, according to The Daily Mail.

Advertisement

First U.S. Location for New Showroom

The company revealed in March that the location for their first U.S. showroom would be Anchorage, Alaska.

Advertisement
An image of Anchorage, Alaska, during a clear day

Source: Wikimedia

However, the long-term plan is to see other major U.S. cities get their own Cosco showrooms.

Big-Ticket Items on Display

Reports suggest the showroom will display many of the company’s big-ticket items, such as furniture and appliances.

Advertisement
A woman is pictured looking at items in a retail showroom

Source: Freepik

A Costco spokesperson says customers will be able to “kick the tires” of large items, including TVs, washing machines, grills, and wardrobes, before deciding whether or not to purchase them.

First Showroom to Open in the U.S.

The new concept store isn’t the first of its kind for Costco.

Advertisement
A couple are pictured shopping for furniture

Source: Freepik

The large retailer opened their first showroom in Puerto Rico over a year ago. But the Alaskan store marks the first in the U.S.

Products in the Alaskian Showroom

The new showroom in Alaska will also allow customers to observe heavy items such as gym equipment, stoves, and fridges before ordering for delivery.

A couple are pictured shopping for a stove in a showroom

Source: Freepik

As such items are considered bulky, general Costco warehouses don’t have the space to place them on display.

Advertisement

Costco’s New Alaska Showroom

Costco’s Alaskan showroom will take over a former Toys R Us location.

An image of a woman showing customers various pieces of furniture

Source: Freepik

The store is around 58,000 square feet, which is considerably smaller than the average Costco warehouse.

Advertisement

Costco’s Decision to Open a New Showroom

Speaking with Anchorage Daily News, Costco spokeswoman Christine Lasley explained the decision to open the new showroom.

A man in a grey shirt is pictured checking out various pieces of furniture

Source: Freepik

“You can touch and feel it and kick the tires, so it’s a perfect opportunity to see what you can purchase,” she said.

Advertisement

This Is for the Members

According to Lasley, the retailer had the consumer in mind when it came up with a plan to open a showroom.

An image of a family shopping in a large retail store

Source: Freepik

“We’re doing this to meet the needs of our members,” she added.

Advertisement

When Will the Alaska Location Open?

As it stands, no information on when the Alaska location opening date has been revealed.

An image of a Costco wholesale store during a busy day

Source: Wikimedia

The planned location currently functions as a Costco distribution center.

Advertisement

Plans to Renovate the New Space

Anchorage News did reveal that the former Toys R Us location will be renovated before the showroom opens.

An image of two construction workers moving scaffolding

Source: Freepik

According to their reports, Costco has already filed a permit to begin the renovations, and it will only be a matter of time before the work begins.

Advertisement

Part of Costco’s Future Plans

During her conversation with the Anchorage newspaper, Lasley stated more showrooms may open in the U.S. The spokeswoman revealed more locations are already planned out.

An image of a large Costco Wholesaler with traffic cones in front of the store

Source: Wikimedia

If the stores experience significant success, many more will open across the U.S. in the coming years.

Advertisement