Costco opens Uptown

MACK GUILLORY

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As of Sept. 21, Loyola community members will have a new location to choose from when buying groceries.

The wholesale retail megastore Costco opened its doors to the public on Sept. 21 at its location on South Carrollton Avenue.

According to Stores Magazine, Costco Wholesale Corporation is the second-largest retailer in the nation.

The new Costco was roughly a $44 million development and spans 150,000 square feet.

Kelly Butler, director of special projects for the office of Councilwoman Susan Guidry, said this was a staggering development.

According to Butler, the planning process started last December, but the real construction began in April.

One of the concerns of the small business community is whether or not Costco will work with local businesses. Butler said Costco has mentioned its intended relation with local small businesses.

“They explained how they will work with small businesses as a supplier,” Butler said.

By offering “business memberships” to business owners and managers, owners have the option to purchase products for business, personal and resale use. Costco is seeking to emphasize its commitment to being an integral, supportive piece of the established Uptown community.

The new Costco location marks a pivotal change in the urban planning of the area near the South Carrollton Avenue intersection across from Xavier University.

“The area needs infrastructure improvement and it has substantial land for commerce,” Butler said.

After Hurricane Katrina wiped out the Carrollton Shopping Center, the lot has remained dormant – until now. Costco will provide the local residents with a new shopping destination.

Caroline Stallard, Loyola history junior, said she expects to benefit from the new Costco location indirectly.

“I feel like my parents will shop there, because I am a local student,” Stallard said. “But I don’t have a car, so I don’t think I’ll actually end up going there myself.”

Because Costco is a bulk grocery store that requires a membership, the general consensus of students on campus is that the store isn’t geared towards college-aged students.

“In general, I feel like most rooms in the res halls are too small to actually hold a ton of stuff,” Stallard said. “I think most students shop at Wal-Mart or Rouse’s.”

Mike Olausen, Loyola English Literature junior, gets most of his food from Whole Foods. Although he will not be shopping at Costco, he can understand why some Loyola students will find themselves shopping in the aisles.

“People will shop at Costco, people with cars or bikes. You could even take the bus. However, they don’t have a lot of organic food,” Olausen said.

For students on campus, the new Costco is now another viable shopping location among the list that includes Whole Foods, Wal-Mart, Rouse’s and Winn Dixie.

Mack Guillory can be reached at [email protected] 

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