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Is Upstate New York, the land of Wegmans, becoming more fertile ground for rival grocery stores?

PriceRite has moved into the Rochester, Syracuse and Buffalo markets over the past five years. Trader Joe’s recently opened its first Upstate store in Rochester.  Now there’s word Costco is about to open its first store north of the New York City region in Syracuse.

The Costco would go in a large retail, housing and entertainment complex in the suburb of Camillus. The Syracuse Post Standard reports:

(Developer) Cameron is telling the town — and The Post-Standard — that they still need to wrap some loose ends up for that particular, mysterious tenant. They are telling town council and board members it is a “large national retailer” — 144,000-square-feet — that’s not in Upstate New York and that retailer has a gas island.

Since the other two non-supermarket large national retailers with gas islands — B.J.’s Wholesale Club and Sam’s Club — are already Upstate, the town is left to do the math.

Costco isn’t talking… much.

“Unfortunately, it’s our corporate policy not to comment on specific markets,” a spokeswoman said recently from Costco’s corporate headquarters in Issaquah, Wash.

Costco’s website says it has 612 “warehouses,” most in the United States. The stores average 143,000 square feet, which is larger than the Pittsford Wegmans. Shoppers must be members, who pay a $55 fee. Costco offers private-label brands, typical grocery store fare, electronics and automotive services.

If Costco is moving to Syracuse, does this mean the mega-chain might take a look west down the Thruway?

20 Responses to Costco Coming Upstate?

  1. November 4, 2012 at 7:47 pm geoff walters responds:

    PLEASE…to Rochester
    Save us from strangle hold of the two W’s…

  2. I have heard only good things about Costco in other areas. If W and W are invading all other areas, then Trader Joes, costoco and even Whole Foods should check upstate regions! Competition is good. And I am a loyal Wegmanite!

  3. Consumer Reports consistently gives Costco top ratings for its electronics offerings. They have a reputation for great customer service and competitive prices.

    Concerning electronics, BestBuy is no longer the best deal in town (can’t compete with Amazon.com and BestBuy’s warranties are very expensive). A Costco in Rochester would do very well.

  4. Who cares? There is nothing significantly different there than BJ’s or Sam’s Club. Would I go to it? Depends on where it is. We already pay one member fee, we won’t pay 2.

    • May 15, 2013 at 10:23 pm Karen responds:

      Ive never shopped at BJs, but if given the choice Costco out ranks Sam Club by far. Better selection and better prices. Costco cares about their members and goes the extra mile to take care of them. If you have a choice, I guarantee you will choose Costco.

  5. November 5, 2012 at 8:23 am @DaveinRoch responds:

    I just can’t get the past of paying $50+ to be a member of one of these wholesale clubs. I did the math and if I filled up at BJs/Sam’s each time I would still come up $10 short rather than going to ordinary gas station where it’s 3-4 cents more per gallon.

    I could see buying paper towels, tp, or other high use items but do you really save that much buying it in bulk compared to generic brand Wegmans/Wal-Mart?

  6. I do understand DaveinRoch’s comment. My wife, who is an accountant, says we save enough in our butter purchases to justify the BJ’s membership. And I know that what we save in meat purchases, generally, are a real savings. But, as I said previously, I’m not that great a shopper that I would pay 2 memberships. I’m perfectly happy with BJ’s.

  7. Cosco offers huge packaged items but Brands may not be the ones you like. We joined for 2 years, stocked cupboards with items we didn’t need, because we thought they were a good deal. But they wasted our money.

    The membership fee is not worth it. We moved away from Wegmans World, and geeze, when you lose it, you miss it.

    Competition is wonderful, but great service, products you love, and reliable quality in a clean store, cannot be compared with big box, cement floored, flood light atmospheres.

    Even Sam’s Club’s prices are sometimes higher in their other store, Walmart…

    New is not always better.

  8. Costco is the best place ever, there is no comparison to BJ’s and Sam’s Club. I’ve had much experience with all three and Costco is far superior. With Trader Joes and Wegman’s and Costco, this would be shopping perfection. Count Niblack’s in too, they round out the perfect equation with spices and baking supplies. I recommend everyone write a letter to Costco urging them to come here, you won’t be sorry.

  9. December 31, 2012 at 1:22 pm Theresa Hurley responds:

    I now live in Rochester NY, I moved from CA 4 years ago. What I miss most from CA is Costco. There is nothing like Costco here! Sam/BJs are nothing like Costco. Costco prices are so much better and the treat their employee good (health care, retirement).

  10. January 8, 2013 at 10:38 pm Mac Daddy responds:

    Costco >>>> Sam’s. Don’t even want to think what BJs is like, but seriously..until you’ve been to a Costco you have no idea how great it is. I prefer it to Wegmans. Lived in CA, MA, NY, and IA and Costco is a happy place beating every other store.

  11. January 10, 2013 at 5:54 am Robert Peterson responds:

    Comparing Costco to BJs or Sam’s is comparing apples to oranges. I have been going there since a kid growing up in Seattle. Costco’s business model is based on high-quality goods, with a minimal profit margin, and rock-solid guarantees. Shopping at a grocery store is throwing money away in comparison. Frankly those who think Costco is a waste of money are poor shoppers who don’t do the math and must not be able to restrain themselves from spontaneous purchases. The closest Costcos are in Ontario (Kingston, Ottawa, etc.) and are all throughout Canada. I realize that Ontario is wealthier than upstate NY and can demographically support many Costcos, which attracts middle class and higher consumers, but it would seem that upstate NY could support at least one or two. There are four in Ottawa alone.

  12. We moved from MD to NY 3 years ago and miss Costco terribly. It has so much more to offer than other warehouse clubs. i.e. better selection, prices, cleanliness, friendly,quality hearing aids for $2000 etc etc. Hope we are next after Syracuse.

  13. March 7, 2013 at 5:32 pm Anthony responds:

    I would love to see Costco Stores in Upstate N.Y.

  14. I will give Costco my business for one reason–they treat their workers right. So does Wegman’s which is why I shop there. Welcome!

  15. May 15, 2013 at 7:12 pm M.Y.Saks responds:

    Costco Opening in
    Westfall & East Henrietta Roads
    Rochester New York SPRING 2014

  16. July 15, 2013 at 12:39 pm Debbie responds:

    Can’t wait for Costco in Camillus! I moved here from Maryland and LOVE Costco!

  17. November 10, 2013 at 7:29 pm Hooman Jahromi responds:

    I moved here from CT last year and let me tell you something. Costco is a new concept! It is way better and outstanding compare to W or BJ’s . The difference is such that every time I come out of BJ’s I feel that I was robbed but costco gives you a feel of joy! I sometimes drive 4 h to NJ to shop in costco! Syracuse people never seen such a thing and cannot imagine it! It will change the market and will be definitely good for people! Can’t wait until it opens.

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