Even though COVID-19 cases are again increasing nationwide, and there are backtracks on reopenings, Costco announced that it plans to open five new branches in late September in addition to two delivery centers in Ontario and San José in California.
The company anticipates that the new stores will open on September 30 in five cities:
Bismark, North Dakota
Cherry Hill, NJ
Idaho Falls, Idaho
Saratoga Springs, Utah
The expansion of the company occurs when several states such as Arizona and California are experiencing an increase in the number of cases of coronavirus and in some places the dining rooms inside the stores are still closed and only Costco takeaway menus are allowed.
Costco has also decided to extend indefinitely the hours that are dedicated to the elderly, so it is expected that in the future the 9 to 10 in the morning time schedule will be reserved only for people over 60 years of age and for those who have some type of disability. This was reported by the company on its website.
Costco is one of the companies that keeps more shelves full of some products in the event of an emergency, as occurred in March when shoppers began storing more groceries due to the coronavirus pandemic.
It is highly likely that most of the company's new branches were already being built prior to the arrival of the pandemic, and according to Bain Akbar, a securities analyst at investment fund agency Morningstar, "The cost of delaying openings could be much higher for the company than just opening them and moving on."