Costco, whose low-cost business plan until now has called for locations in giant tilt-up concrete buildings in industrial parks is moving uptown with some of its new stores.
In a recent interview with the Wall Street Journal, Jeff Brotman, chairman of the Issaquah-based warehouse retailer, said the company is speeding up plans to fill old department store locations in major malls.
While the company still prefers the lower costs of its traditional locations, the company is opening some new stores in major urban areas in large malls. Costco announced three new mall locations last week.
Those former department store locations are available now are relative bargain prices.
Mall sites oftentimes are the only locations available in urban areas already crowded with development, Brotman said.
For malls, Costco’s presence can broaden their appeal during an era when traditional anchor stores are seen by some consumers as too costly.