Costco, one of the world leaders in the warehouse club segment, plans to open a store in the southern Spanish city of Seville in the spring and another soon after in Madrid, where “we are working to identify various possible locations,” the company’s senior vice president for international operations, Jim Murphy, told EFE in a telephone interview.
Murphy did not comment on the amount of investment going into Costco’s first two warehouse stores in Spain, but said the Madrid location would open “relatively soon”.
Spanish media reports said the store in the capital would open in the summer.
Costco’s international strategy has focused in the past on opening a couple of stores to test the market and make adjustments.
Murphy did not want to discuss plans for a possible future expansion in Spain beyond Seville and Madrid.
Costco operates 33 warehouse stores in Mexico, 25 in Britain and 18 in Japan.
The Issaquah, Washington-based company does not have “any specific goals” in terms of the number of stores it wants to have in Spain, Murphy said.
Costco’s management is “very excited” about the move into Spain because “it is a stupendous market” despite the current economic conditions in the country, the executive said.
“We believe Spain has great potential for economic growth,” Murphy said, adding that Costco sees the Spanish as attractive because of its large population of more than 46 million and “high educational levels”.
Costco plans to charge 25 euros ($A38.28) annually for corporate memberships and 30 euros for individual memberships in Spain.