Larger than expected turn out for Costco opening
Story by Antwan Harris
Eyewitness News Reporter
CATOOSA COUNTY, GA. (WRCB)--New jobs and big opportunities for the Fort Oglethorpe community.
This is the first weekend in business for retail giant Costco.
Managers tell Eyewitness News the newly opened store is exceeding expectations.
"Everybody coming through the doors is just amazed at what they see on the shelves," says General Manager Bob Palermo.
And the masses in the Fort Oglethorpe area came out to Costco in droves.
The wholesale giant opened its doors earlier this week, and now the first weekend has raised shocking sale numbers.
General Manager Bob Palermo says he had to hire more employees just to cover the demand.
He says he didn't know how high to set the bar for the first week of business.
"Being a new market, very pleased with the numbers," says Palermo.
Shoppers like Daniel Mitchell, use to travel to Chattanooga from Lafayette, to shop at Sam's Club.
He came to the store to browse, but soon after bought a membership and groceries.
He says the convienence of Costco in Fort Oglethorpe allows him to save on gas and it helps bring more revenue to the area.
"We feel like we wanted to keep our money here, with everything they had," says Mitchell.
He, like many in the store Saturday, had to deal with long lines and aisles of shopping carts.
Palermo says Costco has very similar items to its competitors, but he says it's the shopping experience that keeps the customers coming back, even if that means waiting 20 minutes in line to be greeted by a smiling face.
"We did not expect this big will be that crowded," says Mitchell.
This is the fourth Costco store for the state of Georgia.
Officials say they received more than 6,000 applications for the stores 150 positions.
Worldwide, Costco has over 57-million members.