Costco Wholesale is based in Issaquah, Wash., and is a publicly traded company.
Costco Wholesale Chairman Jeff Brotman said Monday he was “chagrined” to find any controversy regarding a Costco site.
“We’ve approached this the same way we’ve done any other site,” Brotman said. “We’re honest people, very straightforward. We’re trying to pick the very best site for us.”
At the moment, Costco’s favorite site is a 15-acre city-owned parcel across the street from Fuji Park. The site on Clear Creek Road is causing controversy in Carson City and neighboring Douglas County.
Some critics suggest Costco is trying to pit Carson City against Douglas County in an attempt to get the best deal, a charge which Brotman called “nonsense.”
“We haven’t done any of the things that they’ve accused us of,” he said. “I was completely unaware of this. I hope there’s nothing we’ve said or implied to suggest we’re trying to pit them against each other to get a better deal. We have a strong reputation of not doing the things they’ve accused us of. We don’t want to come to any market and see people up in arms. I think we’re as squeaky a clean company as you will find. We tend not to get in trouble.”
Brotman said if a plan to add the parcel at Fuji Park to the redevelopment district passed through city channels, Costco would definitely build at the Carson site. The site was chosen primarily for its location and visibility, he said.
Brotman said the decisions surrounding the controversy are choices a community, not Costco, has to make. Other Carson sites had zoning or wetland problems that made them unsuitable. Proposed sites in Douglas county were “too far from where we need to be.”
“We’re very good at selecting sites,” Brotman said. “We want to do it in a way that makes sense. It doesn’t make sense to go out away from where you’re members are. One of the reasons that we’re looking is because we have a lot of members in the area. We’re looking for a better way to serve them.”
He declined to comment when asked what difference two miles, roughly the distance between Carson City and Douglas sites, would make to members who now travel 30 miles to shop Costco.
The company’s fundamental philosophy is to bring members high quality products at low prices, Brotman said. Costco is proposing a 145,000-square-foot store complete with a members-only gas station for Carson City. He expects the store to reach the average store income of $91 million in less than three years.
Costco key information:
Annual revenues (FY’99-Ending 8/29/99): $27 billion
Number of warehouses: 317
Warehouse sizes: 70,000 to 160,000 square feet, average size 130,00 square feet
Potential size of Carson warehouse: 145,000 square feet
Average revenue for a warehouse: $91 million
Members: 13.5 million
Business card price: $35 (3.9 million card holders)
Individual Gold Star (individual) card: $40 (9.6 million)
Executive membership card: $100