Costco store in Oconee County 'to be open before Thanksgiving' – Online Athens
The new Costco store in Oconee County will open for business in November, according to information the company recently posted on its website.
The store is located next to Hobby Lobby in the Epps Bridge Centre shopping area and is one of eight new stores the warehouse retailer plans to open across the U.S. and in Australia and Canada that month.
Costco had initially planned for an earlier opening, but problems occurred with the supply chain for building materials, according to Oconee County Chamber of Commerce President Courtney Bernardi.
Previously: Construction of Costco store in Oconee County delayed by weather
And: Athens-area’s first Costco Warehouse slated to open in October after construction delays
Barring any unforeseen circumstances, the store plans “to be open before Thanksgiving. That’s their goal,” Bernardi said Wednesday.
Construction on the 155,146-square-foot store has been progressing since spring at the 23-acre site in the Oconee Connector commercial district of Oconee County that continues to grow with new business.
The store is a membership warehouse club with more than 800 locations worldwide, according to its website. Oconee County officials had said initially when the store was announced that Costco would hire between 250 and 275 employees.
Bernardi said the chamber is pleased to have Costco locate there and one reason is their employment practices.
Costco plans to open an office in the Epps Bridge Centre area in September to conduct hiring, recruitment and offer memberships, she said.
“Just how well they take care of their employees is commendable so we’re excited to have them here,” she said. “It’s not often you see a retailer do what they do. They pay for education, they give full benefits, and time and half on Sundays.”
Costco is a competitor with Sam’s Club. They sell a similar range of products and both require membership fees to shop the stores, according to Investopedia, a finance website that examined the practices and prices of both stores.
At the other stores that recently opened, Costco advertised its memberships as $60 for the basic card and $120 for a “executive” version. Besides retail merchandise and a food court, the store also has a tire center and gas station.
The store is expected to serve residents in northeast Georgia, as the closest Costco to Athens is currently in Buford. There are several locations in the metro Atlanta area.