Costco is soon to become one of the UK’s largest cash and carry chains, with plans to open 14 new depots.
The plans, first announced by The Sun, would take the total number of UK depots to 44, just 13 shy of Bestway’s total depot count.
Suitable sites are currently being scouted through a partnership with property development company Chase Commercial.
It is reported the sites will be between six to 12 acres to accommodate 150,000 square foot buildings, with up to 650 parking spaces.
Targeted locations for the new sites are: Chelmsford, Colchester, Exeter, Oxford, Cambridge, Maidstone, Brighton, Portsmouth, Bournemouth/Poole, Preston, South Glasgow, South East London, Wolverhampton / North West Birmingham, and South West Birmingham.
When asked whether more depots opening nearby appeal to shop owners, retailer Umut Yeter of Harvist Supermarket in Islington, London, said: “I’m not sure – there is one in Chingford. It depends on what offers and what product ranges they have.
“Mainly price marked products, that’s a big driver for our customers – they’re comfortable in making the purchase, it gives us good margins. With the tobacco, it’s high value and high risk – [a robbery at a Costco depot] happened to us. I haven’t heard of this happening in a wholesalers.”
Despite the wholesaler often being credited for low tobacco prices, a spree of robberies in its car parks has sparked warnings from other retailers, including Nilesh Patel, owner of Premier Express Welham Green in Hatfield.
Following losing £5,000 of stock in a robbery at a Costco carpark earlier this month he commented: “They said the robberies were my responsibility, not theirs. They need to do more to keep customers safe.
“They have barriers at the depot entrance to protect themselves, but what about their customers? The barriers should be at the entrance to the car park.”
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