Retail giant Costco Wholesale has opened its third Canadian Business Centre with plans to roll out the concept to many other markets across the country in the near future.
The new Business Centre, in Gloucester, Ontario, is just outside of Ottawa and is the third in Canada for the company. The concept launched in Scarborough, Ontario in March 2017 and a second location opened last fall in Saint-Hubert, Quebec.
“We are thrilled to open our doors and offer this new service, which will better respond to the needs of local business owners,” said Marc-André Bally, Vice President of Business Centres and Ancillary Businesses, Costco Wholesale Canada.
“The Costco Business Centre concept is already a resounding success in the Toronto area, and we look forward to offering the same benefits to businesses in the Ottawa/Gatineau region, which we also hope will bring many new consumers to discover the benefits of a Costco membership.”
Bally said the Business Centre is a division that caters primarily to business owners. Although it is open to all Costco members, he said, the Business Centre concept is vastly different from the traditional Costco warehouse, with more than 70 percent of the product offerings unique to the Business Centre and targeted to meet the needs of businesses of all sizes.
“Those products are unique to this Business Centre. You’re going to find that there’s some categories that we’re not selling like TV sets and apparel to name a few but we compensate with a much deeper offering in beverages, in candy, in kitchen appliances, commercial appliances and accessories as well as an 11,000-square-foot walk-in cooler where you can walk and shop at the same time with your cart,” said Bally.
“You’re going to see a huge array of meat, produce, deep offering in cheeses, fine cheeses, deli meats, fruits and vegetables, and dairy.”
The Business Centres are standalone buildings and separate locations from a traditional Costco store.
“We also have a website that business owners can choose to have their products delivered. We operate a fleet of trucks with our own trucks, our own Costco drivers. If you go on our website, we’ll deliver the goods to your place of business on the next business day,” said Bally.
“We are opening two more in April. We are opening in Edmonton and in St. Catharines, Ontario.”
The Gloucester location at 1900 Cyrville Road is a 123,000-square-foot facility.
“With time, there’s no reason why we shouldn’t have a Business Centre in all the major Canadian cities where we currently operate in and we have several locations,” said Bally.
“We were at one location for about three years and now we’ve really ramped up. We’re going to open in a period of eight months four locations and we already have one also in the pipeline for early next year as well in Montreal.
“We think there’s a need out there. Our concept evolved a lot in the last 30, 35 years. We often hear that the Business Centre is back to our roots in terms of how we started the Club business. It was to sell to business owners. We think that there’s a big market right now that we’re not catering to, not to the degree that we should for our business owners in our communities.”
The new Gloucester Costco Business Centre offers more than 3,200 high-quality items, targeted at restaurants, convenience/grocery stores and offices – from bulk food items to commercial kitchen wares and cleaning supplies, to office furniture, coffee needs, and everything in between. Examples include 208-litre drums of olive oil, 3-kilogram containers of cream cheese, 10-kilogram jars of peanut butter, 4-litre bottles of maple syrup and giant 4.5-kilogram Toblerone chocolate bars. Other exclusive items range from commercial meat slicers and BBQ grills to patio heaters.
Business owners will find the same items available both online by visiting costcobusinesscentre.ca and in-store, with business-friendly hours of Monday to Saturday from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
The annual fee is $60 for a Business Membership or $60 for a Gold Star Membership. All Costco Wholesale memberships include a free Household card and are valid at all Costco locations around the world.
At an annual fee of $120 per year, Costco also offers an enhanced Executive Membership that includes a two per cent reward (up to $1,000 annually) on all qualifying Costco purchases and a free Household card. Those who choose the Executive Membership option receive exclusive merchandise offers, as well as special incentives on Payment Processing, Travel Insurance, Portable and Self-storage, and more.