Costco Wholesale has bought a former Barnes & Noble store in the Issaquah, Washington, area to expand its corporate capacity.
According to the Puget Sound Business Journal, the transaction is for 1.5 acres for a future headquarters expansion, company Senior Vice President of Real Estate Dave Messner told the Journal.
There are no immediate plans to demolish the Barnes & Noble building at 1530 11th Ave. N.W. "I think we'll use the existing building for additional corporate capacity," Messner said.
Costco has been buying up other properties as it looks to expand its headquarters office space. According to the Journal, Costco's current campus has about 529,000 square feet of office space.
The latest real estate deal comes as the company has been experiencing accelerated growth due to the pandemic.
Costco Wholesale said same-store sales in its physical stores increased in July by 15.7%. In a pre-recorded July sales update, Senior Vice President, Financial Planning & Investor Relations, David Sherwood said the club retailer had "positive 4.5% customer traffic" in July, the largest increase since the beginning of the pandemic. The average transaction size was up 11.4%. At the same time, e-commerce sales increased in July by 75.3%.
Net sales were $13.04 billion for the retail month of July, the four weeks ended Aug. 2, an increase of 14.1% from $11.43 billion last year. For the 48 weeks ended Aug. 2, the company reported net sales of $149.66 billion, an increase of 8.8% from $137.56 billion during the similar period last year.
Sherwood said the strongest departments in July were food and sundries, which had comps in the positive low 20s, with frozen food, liquor and food being the strongest sub-categories. Fresh food comps were up in the positive mid 20s (meat and produce). Hard line comps were in the positive mid 20s (appliances, hardware, health/beauty).
The strongest regions for Costco in July were the Southeast, Texas and Northeast.
In June, Costco reported a comp increase of 14.4%. E-commerce was up 86.7%.
Issaquah, Wash.-based Costco operates 787 warehouses worldwide, including 543 in the United States and Puerto Rico. The company, which is No. 5 on Progressive Grocer’s 2020 PG 100 list of the top food retailers in North America, also has e-commerce sites in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Mexico, Korea and Taiwan.