Ancaster Costco calls on small army to move store across the parking lot
Call it the big switcheroo.
Costco has added to its staff and has amassed a small army of about 345 employees Wednesday night to help move its old 118,500-square-foot warehouse store to its shiny 142,000 square-foot replacement 300 metres across the parking lot.
It closes a bit early at 5 p.m. Wednesday and in a feat that surely propels them into the gold medal spot in any retail Olympics, will reopen – two hours early no less – at 8 a.m. Thursday.
This seamless, unbelievably smooth transition is trademark Costco.
The company did the same thing with its store in Mississauga in September, 2004.
“It’s not something we do a lot,” said Ron Damiani, Costco spokesperson. “It’s significant logistical planning.”
But while the corporation wanted to upgrade its store, it didn’t want to leave Ancaster. The location is perfect and proximity to highways invaluable.
So, it hired an extra 80 people and drew plans to tear down the old store in a month or so and build a new gas station.
Damiani said the business model of using large pallets of goods brought in by forklift and dropped into place helps enormously with the kind of relocation effort that will take place before the grand opening Thursday morning.
“We try to touch the actual merchandise as little as possible.”
The store is already stocked with a lot of new merchandise and Wednesday night staff will add the finishing touches including new fresh foods. The new warehouse will also offer a pharmacy and an expanded line of goods.
“With nearly 30,000 square feet you’ll see we’re able to broaden our selection quite a bit,” he said.
Damiani said the upgrades to the Ancaster store have nothing to do with American retailer Target coming to Canada later this year and everything to do with keeping stores looking updated and fresh.
“We have a five-year plan requiring the relocation of this store. It’s the only one we’re doing in Canada this year and we’re just opening one store in Edmonton. We do what’s right for our business.”