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Customers of the Bedford Park Costco can say bye-bye to those ubiquitous free food samples as big changes are in the offing for the warehouse store.
Costco Wholesale Corporation recently announced the company plans to transform their traditional Costco Warehouse Store located at 7300 S Cicero Ave., into a “Costco Business Center.” The changeover is expected to occur in late spring or early summer 2015.
Business Center stores are open to all Costco members, but are designed and merchandised to serve small businesses.
“Business Center product selection is tailored to support members who operate convenience stores or food service businesses, as well as provide an expanded range of office products and janitorial supplies,” according to a Costco Member Service Center representative. “There will be no tire shop, optical, pharmacy, hearing aid center or bakery.”
The gas station and food court will remain open.
A fact sheet produced by Costco states, “The Business Center carries a much broader selection of business only items, and does not contain any of the purely consumer categories found in a regular Costco, such as apparel, jewelry, toys, sporting goods, housewares, books & CD’s, etc.”
Approximately 70 percent of items carried in a Business Center are unique compared to those at a traditional Costco Warehouse and are aimed at—Restaurants and Catering Businesses, Vending Machine Operators, Professional Offices, Convenience Stores and Service Stations.
(See Product Examples Below)
Customers will find the store’s operating hours changed. Costco Business Centers open at 7 a.m. and close at 6 p.m. on weekdays (4 p.m. on Saturdays), hours that Costco says are more convenient to business customers. Business Centers are closed on Sunday.
In addition to cash-and-carry sales, members can order online and have products delivered. The new store will offer next-business-day delivery to most businesses in the Chicago metropolitan area.
It is unclear why Costco chose to convert the Bedford Park store into a Business Center. A company representative would only say, “As a company, we analyzed our options and determined it made the most business sense for Costco to convert the Bedford Park Costco to a Costco Business Center. We can now also take better care of our business members.”
Currently, there are a total of nine Costco Business Centers located in the United States. The Bedford Park location will be the first in Illinois.
A person familiar with the situation said all current employees will be retained or offered a transfer if they prefer to work at a traditional Costco store.
Nearby Costco Warehouse Store locations include Orland Park, North Riverside and Oak Brook. ❒
- Drinks in both variety packs, as well as single flavor packs
- An expanded selection of gum, candy and snacks in a wide variety of flavors. (Think 15+ flavors of Trident alone!)
- Groceries ranging in size, including portion packets, 16 oz squeeze bottles, 1 gallon containers, 30 gallon containers, 50 lb bags
- A variety of produce and meat sold by the case
- Individually wrapped baked goods
- Janitorial and cleaning supplies
- A large selection of hot cups, cold cups and takeout containers
- Restaurant supplies and equipment
- An expanded selection of office products, including desk accessories, register tape, ink & toner cartridges, mailroom and shipping supplies.