Costco Wholesale is putting the finishing touches on its College Station location along Texas 6 in Midtown and is now hiring employees ahead of the August 4 store opening.
“It’s really exciting to see how excited the community is to have us and we’re just as excited to be a part of it,” said Kiley Fitzpatrick, General Manager of College Station Costco. “It’s just a really nice little town and I know we have a lot of managers who are happy to move here.”
Construction of the store building began in March, Fitzpatrick said. She added that Costco hopes to start receiving merchandise in early July.
“The store is going up really fast,” Fitzpatrick said. “They have a very fast construction schedule.”
Costco has started hiring for the College Station store, Fitzpatrick said, and a sign near the Texas 6 feeder road says the starting wage is $17.50 an hour. Fitzpatrick said College Station Costco will have about 210 employees, including more than 100 new hires. Interested candidates can apply online at Costco’s website.
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“We try to offer a wide variety of products, different brands,” Fitzpatrick said. “We have all the different fresh departments, whether it’s a gas station, a bakery, fresh produce, deli meats. All of our stores kind of follow the same model.
It will be Costco’s 36th store in Texas, the state with the second most Costco locations behind California (132), but only the fourth store not located in the Austin, Dallas-Fort Worth metro area. Houston or San Antonio. The closest Costco locations to College Station are over 60 miles away in Cypress and The Woodlands.
Natalie Ruiz, City of College Station’s director of development, said the city began work on a retail recruitment program in 2016 to develop a strategic plan to address retail gaps in College Station Market. She said city officials looked at out-of-town restaurant retailers and residents shopping online to recruit them to College Station. Ruiz said Costco always topped the list based on its impact on a community.
“Costco is one of those big international retailers that has regional appeal,” Ruiz said. “They don’t just shoot from College Station or Bryan or even Hearne or Navasota. They really pull from a much wider range, so to be able to have that pull here in College Station, to serve people within an hour’s drive of here. On our first visit to Costco, the new store they opened in the Cypress area next to [Highway] 290, they attracted a lot of people from that area who went there and shopped regularly.
“So having them here locally and being able to serve such a large area brings people who may not shop here on a regular basis to not only shop at Costco but also eat at our restaurants, shopping at some of our other Locations. It’s a regional draw unlike some of the other retailers we have.
Costco wanted to build a location on Texas 6 when city officials first met with them, Ruiz said. She added that providing demographics showing new developments south of town pushed Costco a little further south than where the store originally looked.
Costco filed a site plan with the City of College Station in April 2021 to build a 160,534 square foot facility. Just over two weeks later, the College Station City Council approved Costco’s economic development and property purchase agreements for approximately 19 acres.
“When we first met them, they had their own proprietary software where they were looking at, OK, where is the population density? Where are the businesses located in your community because they do a lot of business-to-business work? does it make sense to know where the people with the highest disposable income and the most expensive homes are? Where is their client really from?” Ruiz says. “College Station being a small community, we have really had to help tell that story in terms of, look, we not only have a university of over 60,000 students, but we also have large families, we have a lot of development in the south end of the city, so in part they knew where College Station was.
“Some of the retailers and restaurants that we’ve talked to, they don’t know where College Station is, so that’s the first conversation did you think of College Station? And if not, here’s why you should be here. Here is the amount of disposable income we have. This is the buying power we have as a community, including our students.
The store is expected to open in less than eight weeks, and Fitzpatrick said he’s heard community members’ excitement about Costco’s upcoming opening.
“Every manager said every time he spoke to anybody that everyone was really happy we were here,” Fitzpatrick said. “It’s quite funny that everyone welcomes us so well.”