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Costco Opens Furniture and Appliance Showroom in South Anchorage

by | Apr 15, 2024 | Featured, News, Retail

Costco Home Showroom, next door to the Dimond Boulevard warehouse store, displays furniture and appliances sold on the retail chain’s website.

Alaska Business

Grills, gun safes, and gym equipment are someone’s idea of toys, so in that sense a South Anchorage toy store is back in business. The former Toys “R” Us next to the Costco warehouse on Dimond Boulevard is open to customers as a new Costco Home Showroom.

Online, In Person

The store is functionally a physical extension of the e-commerce website Costco.com. Member-customers can sit on sofas, dining chairs, or patio furniture and peek inside refrigerators, dishwashers, and laundry appliances. TV sets are also on display, as in a regular Costco warehouse store.

“This is just a sample of the products. There’s many, many more available,” says showroom manager Daniel Zeiger.

The main difference with the Home Showroom is that, for now, customers cannot take merchandise with them. Purchases are for delivery only, and currently only within certain ZIP codes from Girdwood to the Palmer and Wasilla area, and a similar radius around the Fairbanks and Juneau warehouse stores. In the store, shoppers can place orders at the customer service desk or in the aisle with an associate carrying an iPad.

Zeiger says, “It’s kind of daunting to order something expensive, large, and bulky, then get it and find out it’s the wrong one. This is a chance for members to see what’s available and get information so they can make a better decision on buying.” He adds that cash-and-carry purchases may eventually be offered for customers outside of the delivery zone.

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The showroom approach is relatively new for Kirkland, Washington-based Costco. The first was opened in Puerto Rico, and Anchorage is the second.

Having a 58,000-square-foot big box store next door to an established location simplifies the logistics. In fact, Costco has been using the old Toys “R” Us for years as a shipping center, says Julie Depee, Costco’s northwest regional manager for deliveries. Adding a showroom involves fencing off the stock areas from the front end, creating aisles for shoppers to browse.

The result is a showroom that is not as easy to get lost in as, say, an IKEA store, and much humbler than the vast interior of the Costco Business Center, which opened in February at a former Sam’s Club location in East Anchorage.

Like the Business Center, though, the Home Showroom does not contain one of Costco’s trademark food courts. No hot dogs or pizza slices for sale; in fact, hardly any merchandise in the showroom is small enough to be carried away.

Touch, Feel, and See

Showroom manager Daniel Zeiger cuts the ribbon to let customers into the former Toys “R” Us store that Costco has been using as storage for years.

Alaska Business

“It’s an exciting venture for Costco because we’re able to show all this big-box product that we have, that before was not out for customers to touch, feel, and see,” says Depee, visiting from her home base in Kent, Washington to witness the opening.

Next door, the usual selection of cash-and-carry furniture and appliances is still for sale at the Dimond Costo. TV sets of all sizes, freezers, flat-pack cabinets, mattresses, and patio furniture are well represented. However, the warehouse sells only one type of sectional sofa, smaller types of safes, and three models of refrigerators; the showroom variety is much wider.

Despite being the only warehouse-club retail option left, Costco continues to innovate. “Costco’s making an investment in Alaska,” says Zeiger. “We’re looking for better ways to serve our members.”

Including 33 traditional warehouse stores scheduled to open this year across the country (10 more than opened in 2023) the total number of Costco stores around the world rises to 850.

The Costco Home Showroom at 8600 King Street is open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday, and closed to customers on Mondays.

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The track of oil and gas development in Alaska shows the footprints of bold companies and hard-working individuals who shaped the industry in the past and continue to innovate today. The May 2024 issue of Alaska Business explores that history while looking forward to new product development, the energy transition for the fishing fleet, and the ethics of AI tools in business.

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