One of the most prominent names in the grocery and shopping space is now operating in Duluth.
The city's first Costco store opened Thursday to plenty of fanfare. Mayor Emily Larson showed up for an official ribbon-cutting, while a long line of eager shoppers stretched outside the warehouse.
"Costco is here and they’re clearly excited to be here. And by the crowd gathered before the sun even rose, in the cold, and the steady stream of eager people entering its doors to cheers and applause from Costco staff, it’s clear this community, and this region, is excited as well," Larson wrote on Facebook.
The city, in a Facebook post, called the store's opening "a long time in the making."
"We never gave up and it paid off," the city added.
Construction began in fall of 2020, WDIO previously reported, though there had previously been rumors the chain at one point canceled its purchase agreement for that site.
Terese Tomanek, a city councilor, expressed optimism that the region's first Costco would "attract shoppers from the Range and Canada" and lead to other economic development.
How will Costco's presence impact the city's grocery and shopping market? There is already plenty of competition, with large chains (Cub, Walmart, Aldi, Sam's Club, Target, Etc.) and smaller options (Mount Royal, Super One, Stokke's).
One 2014 study found competition from Costco often caused nearby grocers to actually raise some prices — perhaps luring customers with higher-quality products and a more pleasant experience, the author said.
The new Duluth Costco is located at 4611 W. Arrowhead Road — just north of Miller Hill Mall, and east of the Walmart and Menards off Highway 53. It is open seven days a week, and features gas, a food court, pharmacy, vision center and more.
It is the 13th Costco in Minnesota, but only the fourth outside of the Twin Cities metro area.