5 things to know about Costco

Costco’s anticipated grand opening has finally arrived at Ambassador Town Center.

The 148,000-square-foot warehouse at 201 Meadow Farm Drive officially opens its doors to the public at 8 a.m. Thursday. The store is one of multiple major retailers anchoring the new shopping center on 58 acres in the corner of Kaliste Saloom Road and Ambassador Caffery Parkway. Droves of people arrived Wednesday night to get a sneak peek of the new facility and sign up to become card-carrying Costco members.

In case you aren’t familiar with the company, here are some commonly known and lesser-known tidbits:

Yes, you need a membership

Like Sam’s Club, you’ve got to be a member in order to shop at Costco. Whether for business or for personal use, a Costco membership will cost you anywhere from $55 a year to $110 a year.  What does a membership get you? Wholesale prices for bulk items ranging from groceries, furniture, electronics and office supplies.

Patrons dine on covered cash registers during the preview party for the Costco at the Ambassador Town Center in Lafayette March 16, 2016. Photo: The Advertiser
Patrons dine on covered cash registers during the preview party for the Costco at the Ambassador Town Center in Lafayette March 16, 2016. Photo: The Advertiser

 

Food 

The new Lafayette location will offer several grocery services including a bakery, deli with a rotisserie, food court, produce and fresh meat department. During its preview event Wednesday, the store offered sample dishes included in its inventory such as steaks, baked bread, cakes and pizza slices.

Food servers stand wait for patrons to serve free pizza to during the preview party for the Costco at the Ambassador Town Center in Lafayette March 16, 2016. Photo: The Advertiser
Food servers stand wait for patrons to serve free pizza to during the preview party for the Costco at the Ambassador Town Center in Lafayette March 16, 2016. Photo: The Advertiser

 

Costco sells wine, lots and lots of wine.

According to a study conducted by CNBC, Costco is the world’s largest importer of high-end French wines. The company’s lead wine buyer, Annette Alvarez-Peters, is considered one of the most powerful wine buyers in the world. Each year, Costco sells billions of dollars in wine wholesale worldwide.

Lafayette’s new store alone offers between 85 and 90 wine selections.

 

Other services

In the words of Elwood Blues, “This place has got everything.” The Lafayette location will include a pharmacy, tire center, optometry, hearing aid center and a gas station. The store will also offer auto-buying and travel services.

In case you were wondering, yes, the company does sell coffins and emergency food supply kits that range up to 4,000 single servings.

 

About Costco

This is the company’s third warehouse in Louisiana. The other two are in New Orleans and Baton Rouge. The Lafayette location makes 491 warehouses in the United States and 701 stores globally. Costco’s membership spans through the world to over 80 million cardholders.

 

Televisions on display during the preview party for the Costco at the Ambassador Town Center in Lafayette March 16, 2016. Photo: The Advertiser
Televisions on display during the preview party for the Costco at the Ambassador Town Center in Lafayette March 16, 2016. Photo: The Advertiser

 

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