Costco to open 17th warehouse in the UK

Costco has revealed plans to open its 17th outlet in the UK, a 135,000sq ft warehouse in Milton Keynes, just a month after opening its 16th in Bristol.

The new unit is scheduled to open in early November near junction 14 of the M1.

Costco UK managing director Francis Ball said the opening of two outlets in quick succession, after 18 months without one, was coincidence and did not represent any relaxation by planning authorities towards such developments.

He said: “Our plans have always been to open two to three warehouses a year but because of the problems getting planning permission we have not been able to do that.
“The next one is at an advanced stage and we have a couple following on so we should be on target for this year and next.”

Ball said the catchment area for the new warehouse would cover part of the area currently served by its Watford warehouse, but this would help to relieve pressure there.

“Watford is the second busiest Costco warehouse in the world, and at Christmas it is the busiest,” he said, “so some members currently using the Watford warehouse may find it more convenient to use the Milton Keynes one when it opens.”

In addition to its UK plans, Ball said Costco would like to open a warehouse “in the island of Ireland” but so far it had not been able to obtain planning permission.
Trading at the newest addition to Costco’s estate, the 125,000sq ft warehouse in Bristol which opened in June, was going well, said Ball.

However, he added: “Because we are not open to the public, and only members are allowed in, sales are always slow to build because we have to recruit new members.”

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