Costco debuts in Manhattan with store opening
Issaquah, Wash. Costco Wholesale Corp. announced it is opening its first store in Manhattan on Thursday, and added it is looking for additional sites in the area.
The warehouse club retailer said it searched for a Manhattan site for years to target the island’s higher-income population. The new store sits on the site of a former wire factory in Forest City Ratner’s East River Plaza project, which also includes Target and Marshalls.
The East River store, which the retailer expects will be its highest-volume store within three years, is the fourth within New York City limits, with the others in Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island.
Another store will open next year in Queens, the company said.
One of Costco’s main challenges in building the East River store came from building in an urban setting. Most of the chain’s U.S. stores lie in suburban in rural areas. While a typical Costco store is more than 140,000 sq. ft., the Harlem store is about 110,000 sq. ft.
“It’s a challenge relative to the size,” Costco CEO Jim Sinegal told Drug Store News. “We had to crowd a lot in and configure it differently.”
One way the store saved space was to trim down some of the products, particularly those that would not be suitable for most New Yorkers, such as patio furniture and larger packages of such products as pet food.
Early on, another challenge came from elected officials, who criticized Costco for building the store in Harlem, a largely low-income neighborhood relative to the rest of Manhattan, despite the chain’s longstanding policy of not accepting food stamps.
In response, the company had initially announced, in May, that it would accept food stamps at its New York stores, through a pilot program, but ended up announcing in late October that it would accept them at all its stores nationwide.
Target helps active military, veterans find service opportunities
MINNEAPOLIS Target announced that it has partnered with VolunteerMatch to help connect military veterans, active military, and their families with community and civic service opportunities across the country.
Available now, military families, veterans and supporters can visit www.VolunteerMatch.org to help connect with service organizations that are available nationwide. The VolunteerMatch home page features a link to its Advanced Search page where “Military Families & Veterans” has been added as a new Interest Area — making it easy for visitors to find military-related volunteer offerings.
“At Target, we have a profound connection to this survey, as we are proud to count many veterans and military reservists among our 350,000 team members. I can’t think of a better way to show our continued support to veterans and active soldiers serving in our Armed Forces than to listen and swiftly respond to their needs,” said Laysha Ward, president of community relations for Target. “This online resource provides an easy way for veterans to find meaningful volunteer and service opportunities and make connections in their local community.”
Walmart announces BlackBerry deal
BENTONVILLE, Ark. Walmart announced that for one week, starting Nov. 14, customers will receive a $100 gift card when they purchase a BlackBerry device with a two-year contract.
“We know customers are very focused on value, and we have promised each week to deliver new savings to help them stretch their dollars this holiday season,” said Greg Hall, VP media services for Walmart U.S. “With our expansion of Walmart Wireless products over the last year, we look forward to providing an exciting offer on our BlackBerry assortment and give cellular customers an extra boost on holiday needs.”