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Gloucestershire Business News

BREAKING NEWS: GIANT Costco coming to Gloucester

Costco has begun laying the ground for a new store in Gloucester.

The American warehouse giant has purchased the derelict former Interbrew site off Eastern Avenue which is estimated to be worth £11.8million.

Workers have already been seen preparing parts of the 11.5 acre parcel of land with fencing and diggers ahead of groundworks starting.

The land was flattened after Interbrew ceased trading there and has previously been earmarked for at least two large scale developments -the latest a scheme for 14 units known as Centric Park.

The Costco purchase means the brownfield land, which sits on the corner of Metz Way and is opposite Homebase, will now finally be brought back to life.

The opening will also mean a significant boost for employment in Gloucester with each warehouse reported to have between 200-300 staff on site each day. But it will no doubt cause concern about trade being pulled away from other retailers in the county.

Shoppers in Gloucestershire will no doubt be keen to visit the bulk discounter but so far no date has been given for the opening. Costco has previously said it does not comment about potential store openings until around three months before they are due to open.

When it does however, not everyone will be eligible to step foot through the doors. The retailer requires customers to purchase an annual subscription which they must show on entry and has strict rules for membership.

Individual memberships cost £74.40 and to obtain one you must be over 18 and a current or retired employee of select employment groups including banking, local government, emergency services, education, post office, airlines, armed forces, health services and insurance. It also offers trade, executive and digital memberships.

Costco first announced its intention to come to Gloucestershire last November and appointed Chase Commercial and Colliers to find a suitable site.

In a press statement released this week Chase Commercial Limited said: "We are delighted to have advised Costco Wholesale, alongside Colliers, on the acquisition of Centric Park, Eastern Avenue, Gloucester, a cleared 11.5 acre site fronting Eastern Avenue in Gloucester, with detailed planning consent for 251,150 sq. ft. of Class E(g) (iii), B2 and B8 uses with ancillary offices, plus trade counter uses."

It has not revealed how much was paid for the site but Costco has deep pockets. Deloitte lists it as the third largest retailer in the world behind Walmart and Amazon with revenue of $167billion

According to themovemarket.com the site it purchased was last sold in October 2021 for £10.5m and today is valued at £11.8million.

The land was earmarked in 2020 for a development named Access Park which was to contain a Burger King, Maston's pub, and DIY store.

It never came to fruition and Canmoor and Savills began advertising the site as a development of industrial units to let, named Centric Park. Gloucester City Council granted planning permission for the proposals in July 2022.

When Costco announced it was looking to expand in the UK, Chase Commercial said suitable sites would need to be up to 12acres with parking for 650 vehicles.

It is understood Costco has purchased the entire Centric Park site.  Commenting on the sale Justin Parker, director at Chase Commercial, said: "We are delighted to have secured this prominent site in Gloucester on behalf of Costco Wholesale.

"The deal is reflective of Costco's performance track record and their ability to move decisively once suitable sites are identified. Costco are entirely self-funded".

Costco is famous for its cut-price bulk buy operation and already has 29 warehouses ((the chain's term for its retail outlets) in the UK including Bristol, Birmingham and Cardiff.The statement by Chase said it is still looking for at least 14 more sites in the UK for new warehouses.

Site History

-Plans were approved in 2020 for a Burger King, Maston's pub, and DIY store for the site - which will be renamed to Access Park.

-Gloucester architectural practice Roberts Limbrick designed the scheme on behalf of owners Paloma Capital.

-May 2021 the site was flattened and cleared for development.

-Canmoor and Savills began advertising the site as Centric Park with 15 units to let.

-July 2022 Planning permission (22/00014/FUL) was granted by Gloucester City Council for development of site to create 14 industrial units with Class E(g) (iii), B2 & B8 uses with ancillary offices, plus trade counter uses for Units 9 to 14, carparking, service areas and soft landscaping along with highways works to Chancel Close.

-July 2023 it is revealed Costco has purchase the site

Costco facts

-A financial update for June showed it hit net sales of $22.86 billion for the five-week period ending July 2, 2023- an increase of 0.4 percent from the same period last year.

-As of 2022, it is the fifth largest retailer in the world and ranked #11 on the Fortune 500 rankings of the largest United States corporations by total revenue.

-The worldwide headquarters are in Issaquah, Washington, an eastern suburb of Seattle.

-The company opened its first warehouse in Seattle in 1983.

-As of February 2023, Costco has 855 warehouses worldwide with 29 in the United Kingdom.

-The average size of Costco warehouse stores is about 146,000sqft

-It employs around 304,000 people, with around 7,580 of those in UK warehouses.

-It has around 123million members

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