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COSTCO; A Store Needed in Woodbury

A Costco is needed in Woodbury, Black Friday shopping; Costco has a store in Maplewood and might be opening up a store in Woodbury.

I shop at Costco for many reasons that I've spoken about.  

Costco is a merger of Costco Wholesale and Price Club. It is the 5th largest retailer in the United States and 7th in the world. And "As of March 2011, non-supervisory hourly wages ranged from $11.00 to $21.00 in the United States" which is quite above the minimum wage in the US.  

Compare that with something that someone sent me (verification by a group called 9to5): As the largest private employer in the world, Walmart sets the standard for job quality. That standard is so low that hundreds of thousands of its employees are living in poverty, even many who work full time.

Walmart policies increase employee reliance on public assistance:

  •  80% receive food stamps.
  • They rely on $2.66 billion in public assistance each year; amounting to approximately $420,000 per store.
  • They make up the largest group of Medicaid recipients in many states.
  • The average full time Walmart worker makes about $15,500 a year. Meanwhile, the six members of the Walton family have a combined wealth of $93 billion - more than the bottom 30% of all Americans combined.

What I have experienced is that both Costco and Walmart are listed as "Big Box" stores, and the prices at Costco are a few pennies more, the business model of Walmart and Sam's Club is to make a huge profit by not paying workers (let them live on Food Stamps), don't promote women [for law suit information see: http://www.walmartclass.com/public_home.html ] and have unhappy workers.    The $15,500 annual income amounts to about $7.45 per hour.

My brother in law had reason to help a friend find something.  They went to look for the item at Sams Club and then went to Costco.  He said the differences were easily seen.  Workers at Costco were happier, were smiling, and would take you to where the item was, not just tell you where to go.

Costco has 55 Million members, Sam's Club has 47 Million members although having more locations. [Data from Wikipedia]

CRAIG'S analysis  

For a few pennies more, I'll shop at a store where the employees are happy, promotions are made on merit and not on gender, and where the profits are being shared with the workers for their work rather than lining the pockets of 6 people who don't need any more wealth.

Action:  I will be sending a letter to each person on the Woodbury City Council, the Mayor and the Planning Commission; OR visiting with them to encourage them to support a Costco coming into Woodbury.

I encourage everyone to visit a Costco, if you haven't already.  The nearest one is in Maplewood just West of the Maplewood Mall.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Craig Thorsen November 16, 2012 at 07:05 PM
A Costco Club store opens in Rochester, Minnesota today.
Adela Peskorz November 16, 2012 at 09:11 PM
This is exactly why I never set foot in either Sam's Club or Wal-Mart and drive the extra 20+ miles each way to Costco rather than the half mile or so where both of the above are. I remember reading an article doing a side by side comparison of the two big boxers, and what I always remember is the pyramid of priorities (profits, customers, employees) drawn between the two: For Costco, the highest regard was for people; both employees and customers. For Walmart, it was profits, profits, profits primarily driving that behemoth of a machine, with the human variables way down the list. Costco focuses on human dignity and STILL makes an enormous profit--the two don't have to be mutually exclusive, and it's one of those intangibles that makes a big difference in where I spend my money. I'll happily sign onto that letter (I've been wishing for a closer one for years) if you need more support. Thanks for speaking for so many of us!
Laura ME November 17, 2012 at 01:03 PM
I agree that Costco is better on many levels than Sam's Club or Walmart. We don't shop at either Sam's or Walmart. We belong to Costco and drive to Maplewood. However, I do NOT support a Costco in Woodbury. The city is too congested with every business under the sun - and the traffic from WI into Woodbury makes it that much less desirable. If you look at the license plates at any store in Woodbury (especially a Sam's Club) almost half (if not more) are from WI. I WILL support a corporate business moving into the State Farm building and creating higher paying jobs.
Craig Thorsen November 17, 2012 at 02:51 PM
Sam's pay of $7.45 per hour ($15,500/YR) for a full time worker is NOT high paying. A starting pay at Costco of $11.00 per hour ($22,880/Yr) is much closer. License plates from WI show a need for Costco. Woodbury's tax base would benefit and the Costco employees would have more money to spend at other merchants in area stores. Market forces would force Sam's to pay higher wages. 'Ford astonished the world in 1914 by offering a $5 per day wage ($120 today), which more than doubled the rate of most of his workers. A Cleveland, Ohio newspaper editorialized that the announcement "shot like a blinding rocket through the dark clouds of the present industrial depression." The move proved extremely profitable; instead of constant turnover of employees, the best mechanics in Detroit flocked to Ford, bringing their human capital and expertise, raising productivity, and lowering training costs.' [1] All about 'the bottom line?' No. If the management decisions at Costco show a company with fairness with pay, benefits and promotions can still thrive, then I'll pay the few pennies more. “There is one rule for the industrialist and that is: Make the best quality of goods possible at the lowest cost possible, paying the highest wages possible.” [2] Quotes: 1 - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry_Ford as of Nov 17 2 - http://www.goodreads.com/author/quotes/203714.Henry_Ford
Joyce November 17, 2012 at 03:55 PM
I agree completely; I, too, will never set foot in either Walmart or Sam's Club unless they start treating their employees equitably. It is worth driving up to Maplewood and spending a few extra cents to know that I am shopping at a store that treats both employees and customers well.
M Yapp November 19, 2012 at 02:29 PM
Costco has tried on NUMEROUS occasions to come to Woodbury and has been shot down by the council just as many times for a variety of reasons, but the largest one being that they want to put a liquor store with it and there is an ordinance specifying how close liquor stores can be to each other. Maybe what Woodbury needs is an ordinance specifying how close nail salon and mattress distributors can be to each other, given the latest approvals and locations of existing businesses? The tax benefits would be outstanding, provided that it is actually located within the 833 boundaries, unlike the large majority of our other commercial retailers, which are located in the 622 and 834 boundaries.
Craig Thorsen November 26, 2012 at 10:23 PM
It is interesting that not very much has been written about the demonstrations and protests that took place outside of many Walmart Stores across the nation on Black Friday. It is too early to know how many people were involved, and maybe we will never know. It took a lot of courage for employees to demonstrate; they faced the very real prospect of being fired for doing so. Walmart may find its policies will continue to cause a rift with employees, and I believe that over time, Walmart will suffer; just as their employees are suffering now.
Craig Thorsen November 29, 2012 at 10:59 PM
What people overlook when they see Big Business is that some are run for the Community's benefit, and some are run 'for the bottom line' alone. Vice President Biden went to a new Costco in Washington DC. [See: http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/DC-Decoder/Decoder-Wire/2012/1129/Joe-Biden-goes-shopping-at-Costco.-Why-there-video?cmpid=ema:nws:Daily%20Custom%20(11292012)&cmpid=ema:nws:Mzg5NDUxMDA3MDgS1 ] The article points out Costco as an example. Why? It says that Costco is "an example of how US businesses should treat employees. Costco's people are well paid (for retail), and the firm offers good health insurance." What most people don't know is that the CEO took home only $350,000 last year. That is 1/3 of what other CEO's of company's of Costco's size. Harkens back to Henry Ford, who paid his workers enough so that they could buy the products that they were making.
wwms January 16, 2013 at 01:28 AM
Would love to see it in 833 boundaries. But is there a spot large enough for a costco in 833 boundaries. I can't think of one off the top of my head. I think they next time they try to come to Woodbury, we need a letter writing campaign. I also won't shop Walmart or Sam's, but also choose not to drive to Maplewood.
Joylynn May 29, 2013 at 04:14 PM
Any word on Costco heading to Oakdale or Woodbury?
yomammy May 29, 2013 at 04:51 PM
put it in Hudson.
Kris Janisch May 29, 2013 at 04:57 PM
I haven't heard anything on that front since the State Farm deal was killed, Joylynn.
Lost Dogs- MN August 12, 2013 at 06:53 PM
I thought I just saw something on the Patch about one coming to Woodbury, is that true?
Kris Janisch August 12, 2013 at 06:55 PM
Yup. Meeting with city officials and Costco is Thursday. http://woodbury.patch.com/groups/business-news/p/costco-ready-to-build-store-in-woodbury
Craig Thorsen August 12, 2013 at 10:30 PM
Good News about Costco coming. If the 2300 card carrying members already in Woodbury is true, then it shows the need is there.
Joylynn August 27, 2013 at 03:01 PM
Can't wait! I'll be driving to Woodbury (from Hudson) instead of to Maplewood. LOVE Costco!

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