Costco Chooses California as Site of Largest Club

Proposed Fresno location would be 241,000 square feet
Marian Zboraj, Progressive Grocer
costco salt lake city
Salt Lake City is the current location of the world’s largest Costco club, which measures 235,000 square feet.

Costco Wholesale Corp. is proposing a new club in Fresno, Calif., according to a published report in The Fresno Bee. At 241,000 square feet and taking up 22.4 acres of land, it would be the retailer’s largest location to date.

Salt Lake City is the current location of the world’s largest Costco location, which measures 235,000 square feet. The average size of a Costco warehouse is around 146,000 square feet.

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The proposed new Costco in Fresno would be located at Herndon Avenue and Riverside Drive and replace the members-only warehouse’s existing 134,000-square-foot store at Shaw and Blythe avenues, less than 3 miles away.

The project must first go through an environmental review process. A draft environmental impact report for the Costco Commercial Center was released on July 11 by the city of Fresno’s Planning & Development Department for a 45-day public comment period. Basic plans for the site include a main warehouse store building, plus 32 fuel pumps and an automated car wash. 

A timeline for construction and the potential opening of the store wasn’t specified in the draft environmental analysis, but the project will require a slew of various permits and entitlements before major work could begin.

Public feedback on the proposal will be accepted through Aug. 25. One of the major issues likely to arise is future traffic in and around the intersection of Herndon and Riverside, which is populated on the southwest corner by the large Marketplace at El Paseo shopping center.

Meanwhile, Costco has also been making headlines for its move to crack down on membership card sharing. The club retailer is now following a standard checkout procedure of asking for shoppers’ membership cards, as well as a photo ID, to use self-checkout registers. 

During its third-quarter earnings call at the end of May, Richard Galanti, Costco’s director, EVP and CFO, said that the company has seen continued membership growth.

“We ended Q3 with 69.1 million paid household members and 124.7 million cardholders, both up approximately 7% versus a year ago,” noted Galanti. Executive members now represent a little more than 45% of Costco’s paid members and approximately 73% of worldwide sales.

Issaquah, Wash.-based Costco currently operates more than 850 warehouses, including 590 in the United States and Puerto Rico and 107 in Canada. The company is No. 3 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2023 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America. PG has also named Costco one of its Retailers of the Century.

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