Costco international exec says chain looking to open stores in Europe

Issaquah, Wash. -- Costco Wholesale Corp.’s international executive VP James Murphy said Thursday that the warehouse club operator is pursuing a European expansion program.

Murphy told Bloomberg that Costco is “interested in investing in the obvious four -- Germany, Italy, France and Spain.” The company hasn’t decided which country would debut first and will probably open a store in the region “in the next couple of years,” Murphy said in the Bloomberg interview.

As real estate rates downwardly shift, Murphy said that Costco seems some opportunity, although weakened demand and austerity measures are concerns.

Turkey is another market that Costco is considering, Murphy said.

Earlier this month, the retailer announced it would buy out its Mexican joint-venture partner for $765 million, and that it would be better positioned to expand the 32-store base in Mexico.
 

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