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Posted on Sun, Jun 24, 2012 : 5:59 a.m.

Top 5: Economic impacts of the new Costco store in Pittsfield Township

By Lizzy Alfs


David Lee shops at a Costco Wholesale store in May in Portland, Ore. The national chain is opening a store Friday in Pittsfield Township.

AP Photo | Rick Bowmer

The Costco Wholesale store opening in Pittsfield Township this week is going to bring more than discounted engagement rings and bulk-packaged toilet paper to the Ann Arbor area.

The opening of the 150,000-square-foot discount store near the corner of State and Ellsworth roads — planned for 8 a.m. on June 29 — is sure to have local economic impacts beyond saving consumers money.

The store took 10 months to build after its plans were approved by Pittsfield Township in August 2011. Costco purchased the 17-acre site in the Airport Plaza industrial park from local developer Jake Haas for $7.34 million.

Eight office buildings in the industrial park were demolished to make way for the store, gas station and 720 parking spaces.

The membership-only warehouse club will likely draw shoppers from across the region, with the area’s closest Costco stores located in Brighton and Livonia.

Representatives from Costco have been marketing in the area — including at a kiosk in Briarwood Mall — selling memberships that range from $55 to $110 annually.

As of 2010, Costco had 58 million members worldwide at its 602 warehouse stores. A typical store does about $150 million annually in sales, and the company is valued at about $39.41 billion based on a Wednesday stock price of $91.09.

From road construction projects to job creation, here are five ways the Costco store will impact the local economy:

1) Job creation

When Costco announced it planned to mass hire 180 employees to work at its new store, the company’s website was flooded with applications shortly after, said warehouse manager Bill Linfield.

Ten days after Costco began accepting applications, more than 1,000 people had applied.


The Costco Warehouse store in Pittsfield Township is set to open June 29.

Angela Cesere |

The company is known for its employee perks, including compensation and career advancement. In 2010, Costco was ranked the top retailer to work for by its employees, with an average wage of $17 per hour, according to data collected by CareerBliss.

And fortunately for Washtenaw County — which currently has the lowest unemployment rate in the state at 5 percent — much of the hiring was done locally.

Pittsfield Township Supervisor Mandy Grewal said the hiring will also bring a concentration of people to the area, where she hopes employees will “choose to live and work.”

During the 10 months it took to build Costco, the project also provided dozens of construction-related jobs at a time when the real estate market — particularly new construction — was still struggling to recover.

2) Traffic increase

Costco customers are willing to travel long distances to shop at discounted prices.

The new store is expected to bring hundreds of people a day to the State and Ellsworth intersection — an intersection that already experiences traffic counts of about 3,500 cars a day.

Mark McCulloch, project engineer for a new roundabout planned for State and Ellsworth, said traffic in the area is "heavy now and is expected to increase by 20 percent over the next 20 years."

Several road improvement projects were undertaken to account for the increase in traffic, including reconfiguring Airport Boulevard as a three-lane road and adding a new traffic signal at the Airport and Ellsworth intersection.

The roundabout planned at State and Ellsworth is estimated to cost about $2.5 million. Construction is expected to begin in 2013 and last from April or May through Labor Day.

The cost of the roundabout is being financed in an agreement between Costco, the Washtenaw County Road Commission and the City of Ann Arbor.

Tom Goldberg, an owner of several shopping centers in Pittsfield Township, said the increase in traffic to the area could benefit neighboring businesses.

“In terms of some of the adjacent properties, Costco might be a new opportunity for them because of the amount of customers that will be driving to the Costco location,” he said.

But local commercial real estate broker Jim Chaconas is more cautious: he said Costco is a destination store that people will drive to and then go straight home.

"You take a Walmart, Costco, Sam's Club — they are destinations and people go there and shop and go home," he said. "You go and get great meat or dairy and you have to get back to your refrigerator."

3) Future development

Development often begets development.

That’s how one local developer — who has plans to build a 15,750-square-foot retail center near the State and Ellsworth intersection — views the new Costco store.

Howard Frehsee plans to build the center, which includes a 5,000-square-foot free-standing outlot building, on a 5.75-acre parcel just east of the intersection’s southeast corner.

His plans date back several years, but were stalled because of the economy. He received township approval for his project in 2010 and said he still plans to move forward when the timing is right.

With the Costco opening nearby, Frehsee sees the potential it could have on his center.

“I see Costco being a very good draw for potential customers, and I think that we will definitely have some positive spinoff from that,” he said. “People go to a destination-type center and they may or may not stop at something else next door, but certainly there’s a greater likelihood that they will.”

He believes that corridor, which he calls a “great location with great potential,” is short on retail. He said his development would have a sit-down restaurant, carryout food and convenience-oriented retail.

At the same time, he said the real estate market is still struggling and it’s difficult for small business owners to get financing, putting his project on hold.

There are several other recent or planned developments in the area surrounding Costco, and many developers and township officials have long forecast more commercial possibilities.

To the north of the new store, Tim Hortons plans to build a drive-thru at the site of the former Enzo’s Sports Bar. Plans were approved by Ann Arbor City Council in April to demolish the existing structure and construct a 1,953-square-foot restaurant.

Another nearby site — the former Pinter’s Flowerland at 3930 S. State — has been listed for sale for years. The township has approved a 9,200-square-foot retail center for the corner property.

In 2010, a new Speedway gas station and convenience store was rebuilt on the southeast corner of the intersection.

The owners of Tyner Furniture — located in a former Kmart at 3900 S. State St. just northeast of Costco — have talked about redeveloping their property or using a portion of the store's unused parking lot for an additional project.


Tyner Furniture is located northeast of the new Costco store.

Lon Horwedel |

Grewal said whether there will be continued activity at nearby sites remains to be seen, but said the township's Master Plan strikes a balance between development and land preservation in the area.

4) Retail competition

The opening of Costco could present a challenge to Washtenaw County’s existing retailers — particularly grocers and the competing Sam’s Club in Pittsfield Township at Michigan Avenue and Carpenter Road.

But because Costco is a warehouse store and sells in bulk, some industry experts say the store won't pull customers from nearby grocers and those stores usually don't try to go head-to-head with Costco's low prices.

According to a study by the National Bureau of Economic Research, the drab aesthetic of Costco's warehouse stores offer nearby grocers a different competitive advantage: attracting consumers based on convenience and experience.

Chaconas said to expect "some crossover" with the Walmart Supercenter located a few miles south on East Michigan Avenue. But Walmart, unlike Costco, is a one-stop-shop for most people, he said.

Goldberg, who has both a Whole Foods market and a Target at his retail centers on Ann Arbor-Saline Road, said he's not worried about the competition from Costco.

"Most of the very capable and large retailers that you see in Ann Arbor coexist nicely," he said. "I think (Costco) is very much complementary. From a developer's perspective, I think it's positive."

Other retailers that the new Costco store could threaten are those in the gasoline industry.

According to a recent survey by Consumer research firm Market Force, Costco ranked as consumers' favorite place to fill up their tanks.

The reason: gas at Costco is often about 10 cents cheaper than local averages, and even though the lines are usually longer, people are willing to wait.

Frehsee, who played a key role in redeveloping the Speedway station adjacent to his property, said the station has the benefit of being convenient for shoppers in a hurry.

"Yes, you'll have a lot of people go to Costco to get gas," he said, "but on a day-to-day basis, when you don't want to wait in a line at Costco, where are you going to pull in to get gas?"

5) Community Impact

According to township documents, Costco paid $169,729 in property taxes in 2011. That figure will increase when the property is reassessed now that the building has been constructed, Grewal said.

In comparison, the Walmart store in Pittsfield Township paid $430,129 in property taxes in the 2011 tax year, according to township documents. Property taxes are divided between a number of entities, including the township, the state of Michigan and the school system.

Once the Costco store is reassessed, Grewal said, it is projected to generate $35,000 a year in taxes that will go directly to the township.

Grewal also hopes and anticipates the store will increase neighboring property values.

"I believe property values will be positively affected with more development as it comes into the region," she said.

"I do believe that Costco, and the planned improvements that are going hand-in-hand with Costco ... will bring more vibrancy to the region...(and) contribute significantly in increasing the property values for our residents in Pittsfield Township," she said.

View Washtenaw County Business News 2012 in a larger map

Lizzy Alfs is a business reporter for Reach her at 734-623-2584 or email her at Follow her on Twitter at



Tue, Jun 26, 2012 : 1:31 p.m.

Local stores still command our business when we can. A bit more for an item vs supporting the big box: our vote goes to the locals, that is, our neighbors. Was the reporter for this story on the staff for Costco? Sounds like a commercial to us.

Chris Hall

Wed, Jun 27, 2012 : 8:23 p.m.

Amen! I shop the locals too, and the big box. It's nice to have the choices we have.

John Q

Mon, Jun 25, 2012 : 6:34 p.m.

"Once the Costco store is reassessed, Grewal said, it is projected to generate $35,000 a year in taxes that will go directly to the township." Shows how little benefit these big box stores generate for the local communities in actual property tax revenues.

Lizzy Alfs

Wed, Jun 27, 2012 : 7:52 p.m.

To clarify: the $35,000 is the money that goes directly to the township. The store paid $169,729 in property taxes in 2011, but that is divided between the township, school system, state, etc

Chris Hall

Wed, Jun 27, 2012 : 7:48 p.m.

I noticed that also. I think it's a typo. They're paying more with no building. Probably should read $350,000?

Woman in Ypsilanti

Mon, Jun 25, 2012 : 2:39 p.m.

I am quite happy about this as it means I will no longer have to drive to Brighton to shop at Costco. I like Costco because their Rx drugs are really cheap. They are so cheap, that they cost less than my insurance deductible!


Mon, Jun 25, 2012 : 2:17 p.m.

traffic in the area is "heavy now and is expected to increase by 20 percent over the next 20 years." Is there any estimate as to the traffic impact NOW as a direct result of the new store?

Chris Hall

Wed, Jun 27, 2012 : 8:22 p.m.

Funny thing about traffic. When the new Wal-Mart opened at Michigan and State there were many people claiming that traffic would become a nightmare. Well, that never really materialized. As it turns out, people come and go from those stores in little dribbles all day long rather than in rush-hour fashion and so it doesn't really have the affect people said it would. I live 1/4 mile from that store and have seen the traffic every day for years. Now, don't get me started on the Michigan International Speedway traffic on Michigan Ave.

Tony Dearing

Mon, Jun 25, 2012 : 1:57 p.m.

A comment was removed because it resulted in a prolonged off-topic conversation.

Robert D. Mosley

Mon, Jun 25, 2012 : 3:53 a.m.

Great article from Ms. Alfs! The Costco store in Auburn Hills is great with good food and great prices. And, no less than the NY Times lauded Costco for the way they treat their workers. I know it's not the best but even the auto companies pay less than what Costco does today. (Of course, the auto companies will go higher over time, but this is still pretty good.) I think you will find the store a nice addition so long as it does not disrupt your local businesses. but, I can tell you that those around our local Costco store from all classes find it a useful addition to the repertoire of stores in our area near Auburn Hills.


Mon, Jun 25, 2012 : 3:42 a.m.

We love Costco. The best deal is getting the AMEX card. You will get annual checks back for 1% on goods and 3% back on gas. Not just ob Costco purchases, either. And AMEX doubles the warranty life on all items. That's pretty significant. The tire store is A-1, too. What really will blow your mind is all the owners of those quant little mom and pop specialty stores and shoppes buying Costco stuff and selling it back to you rubes at huge profits. I know, you won't or don't believe it. But you will see how they work. The shops and stores that gouged consumers all these years really deserve to go out of business, their owners sent back to Birmingham and Bloomfield Hills and their bank accounts returned back here to the U.S.

Chris Hall

Wed, Jun 27, 2012 : 8:19 p.m.

Good point Cibachrome. I often see Sam's Club shoppers loading up on stuff that I know I'll see at my local restaurants later that week :)


Sun, Jun 24, 2012 : 11:54 p.m.

Is this a news article or an advertisement?

Basic Bob

Mon, Jun 25, 2012 : 2:34 a.m.

It's a paid political message.


Mon, Jun 25, 2012 : 1:54 a.m.

I wonder if you bring in this story, if they'll give you a discount on membership!


Sun, Jun 24, 2012 : 10:35 p.m.

Hurray for Costco! Bring it on! However, the roundabout will be a huge mistake. Don't need it at that location. The roundabouts in this area are far too small with large trucks running nearly tipping over making tight turns going fast, and cars that don't understand the concept of YIELDING to cars already in the roundabout. What a nightmare. I'm happy for the new Costco store and the increased competition to local retailers who think they have a lock on the market here.

Chris Hall

Wed, Jun 27, 2012 : 8:18 p.m.

I love roundabouts but you're right! They ARE building them too small. The ones in NY and NJ are wider. The other problem with people not knowing how to use them will iron itself out over time. People need to travel through them a few times to get used to it.


Sun, Jun 24, 2012 : 7:50 p.m.

I'm not sure why we need another big box store. There's another Costco 20 minutes away, a Sam's Club 10 minutes away, a big Wal-Mart 5 minutes away, a Meijer 3 minutes away. Something's wrong if you're at a loss for a place to buy stuff. A big park would have been nice, or 20 local merchants in that humongous building. But I'm set if I need a 55 gallon drum of deodorant.

Chris Hall

Wed, Jun 27, 2012 : 8:17 p.m.

This is a good point. I'd be fine if they close the Sam's Club. I've shopped there for years because we have several kids, but they've never exactly taken good care of their customers.

Basic Bob

Mon, Jun 25, 2012 : 2:51 a.m.

I agree. I don't shop at Walmart, Sam's Club, or Costco. It still leaves plenty of reasonable choices in the township and neighboring communities. Meijer and Target have locations on both the east and west sides of Pittsfield. Doubtful I would ever save enough money at Costco to pay for the membership.


Sun, Jun 24, 2012 : 11:42 p.m.

Actually I do know how economics work. Huge stores make it very difficult for small and medium stores to compete, and they struggle or disappear, leaving bland, samey superstores with bland, samey products. The same concept applies to the chain restaurants that you suggested would be beneficial to have more of.


Sun, Jun 24, 2012 : 10:28 p.m.

Hmm....pretty uninformed comment -- clearly you have never shopped at a Costco, nor understand economics if you think we have enough Big Box Stores -- in fact, any study you look at for economic development in Ann Arbor indicates we are woefully UNDER-saturated with Big Box Stores and Chain Restaurants and the community will support many more before we have "too many box stores"....I have this very strong opinion about people who somehow think the "people of Ann Arbor" want to spend their lives shopping in quaint small shops downtown. Those days have been gone for thirty years at least....


Sun, Jun 24, 2012 : 8:37 p.m.

Wal-Mart pays slave wages, and the company has sweatshops in China where much of their merchandise is made. Wal-Mart and Sams Club are both owned by the uber wealthy skinflints...the Walton family. Shop at Costco. We will be.


Sun, Jun 24, 2012 : 8:14 p.m.

Welcome to today's United states. Worlds largest strip mall.

Billy Bob Schwartz

Sun, Jun 24, 2012 : 6:50 p.m.

"The company is known for its employee perks...." Other than "advancement" and this higher than minimum wage pay, what are the perks? Do they get a break on health insurance? Do they get a break on prices for their purchases? Do they get paid vacation? Do they get some help with child care while working? Do they get a guaranteed 40 hour work week? Any other perks? My guess to all of the above, is "No, are you kidding me?!" It would be nice to hear that someone is providing more than less than full time for cash.

Jeff Frank

Mon, Jun 25, 2012 : 3:20 p.m. I believe all employees are given a membership in lieu of employee discounts on purchases.

Tom Todd

Sun, Jun 24, 2012 : 6:17 p.m.

really don't need more crap in the house.

Chris Hall

Wed, Jun 27, 2012 : 8:15 p.m.

Got a point there, Todd. There is a Veggie Tales video called the "Stuff Mart" an obvious snipe at Wal-Mart where they suggest that having more stuff isn't exactly a virtue.

Paul Wiener

Sun, Jun 24, 2012 : 3:34 p.m.

Geez, how accurate, insightful and downright spot on these predicted impacts are! How could anyone have failed to see them? I predict the Baltimore Orioles will win the 2046 World Series in a 4-1 series.


Sun, Jun 24, 2012 : 5:18 p.m.

Disagree. By then it will be best of nine...more playoff games equals more revenue.


Sun, Jun 24, 2012 : 3:05 p.m.

Costco will have a positive impact on the immediate 'corner' of S. State and Ellsworth. Mr. Chaconas' caution is not without merit, but other Costco stores generate an 'anchor' effect for smaller retail -- just look at the restaurants in front of the Brighton store and the subsequent Green Oaks Crossing on the east side of US 23. If this opens up the opportunity for reworking of the Tyner Furniture property, all the better.

Chris Hall

Wed, Jun 27, 2012 : 8:13 p.m.

This comment is spot-on. The new retail stores that opened up in front of the new Wal-Mart are doing well. I shop at them often. In fact, many retailers OPEN stores near a new superstore to benefit from the destination effect of the shoppers to that area.


Sun, Jun 24, 2012 : 5:54 p.m.

Sorry, forgot to add "quotes" to the first sentence in my last comment as I was quoting brimble. Love the fact that you can't edit comments on this site!


Sun, Jun 24, 2012 : 5:52 p.m.

If this opens up the opportunity for reworking of the Tyner Furniture property, all the better. Agreed. I'm surprised that Tyners has stayed there stayed open in that area for as long as it has and hopeful this will benefit them and that corner.

UM owns

Sun, Jun 24, 2012 : 2:55 p.m.

Are they going to have any grand opening events, or any days where people without a membership can shop the store to see if they like it?

Jeff Frank

Mon, Jun 25, 2012 : 3:17 p.m.

Costco ALWAYS allows non-members to try it out for a day without paying the membership fee, just go to the membership desk after telling the "greeter" that's what you need to do. You'll pay an extra 5% (I think) on anything you purchase that day, but if you see stuff you want and think you'll want to continue shopping there, it would make sense to make another trip to the membership desk to buy the membership before checking out.


Mon, Jun 25, 2012 : 12:56 a.m.

Seems like something could readily ferret out for us.


Sun, Jun 24, 2012 : 10:37 p.m.

Costco needs to let the public know ahead of time if 6/29 is a free guest day.


Sun, Jun 24, 2012 : 7:46 p.m.

I think perhaps the opening day 6/29 is a guest day? But crowds may be discouraging to some.


Sun, Jun 24, 2012 : 2:44 p.m.

Actually Rick just axed thousands of good paying, full time teacher jobs for some less than $25K jobs. I am sure Costco will get some state tax breaks from the $1.7B tax cut, but how does that really help the state? The middle class just took another backward slide. Also, Costoco would have built there whether Rick and the mindless tax cutters had given business these ridiclous tax cuts.

Chris Hall

Wed, Jun 27, 2012 : 8:11 p.m.

This is a partisan comment that doesn't contribute positively to the story or discussion. It's easy to snipe at politicians and get some high fives from others. But it would be more constructive if you didn't label people so generally and negatively.


Sun, Jun 24, 2012 : 11:52 p.m.

Those teachers could work for Costco!

George Houchens

Sun, Jun 24, 2012 : 1:59 p.m.

Article sounds like a lot of justification spin to me. Yes, Costco is a nice place to shop ... if you need a dozen of everything. We buy some stuff there (paper goods, coffee, cereal, etc.), but as a couple we often dont need the quantities marketed by Costco for much of their items. Also, gas is not 10 cents a gallon cheaper...more like 5 cents. Still a nice saving, but not what the article claims. And, a number of the new developments that were claimed as Costco related would most likely have happened with or without Costco. Your reporter left out one of the big advantages of shopping at Costco ... they accept returns readily, often after extended periods ... and their internet web site is outstanding.


Sun, Jun 24, 2012 : 10:23 p.m.

Hmm...agree with some, not all of this post. I just bought gas at a Costco and the it was a good 12 cents cheaper than any of the local gas stations.... Also, the vast majority of their goods does NOT require bulk purchase -- only a small portion of the store is grocery related.

Basic Bob

Sun, Jun 24, 2012 : 1:47 p.m.

We can look forward to more store closings on Carpenter Road as the township not only ignores but cannibalizes its own commercial base.


Sun, Jun 24, 2012 : 1:37 p.m.

Do people really believe that they are going to get a starting pay at 17?.. I mean really?.. and good luck keeping all the hours they promise.. This store is run a lot like sams club. don't believe all the hype.


Sun, Jun 24, 2012 : 9:17 p.m.

Maybe you naysayers should READ the ANNUAL report that is PUBLIC information about Costco. Salaries of executives are in there. Funny how the same people who complain and say the average teacher makes a HUGE salary, but when a retailer puts up a number, they say, it is weighted.


Sun, Jun 24, 2012 : 8:42 p.m.

Take a look some time at how long Costco employees stay at Costco versus Walmart. It will open your eyes. Wall Street hates Costco since it turns the 'you must treat employees like dirt with low wages, no benefits in order to make a profit' upside down. Drives them crazy. Facts over myth.


Sun, Jun 24, 2012 : 8:05 p.m.

Starting pay vs. average pay really does not matter. Along the lines of what an earlier poster said, I am sure that when they calculate the "average pay" it is including salaried personnel as well as hourly, which will bring the much-celebrated average hourly pay up. In reality, this is probably not close to what the new hire will be making. Also, yes, if you have guaranteed hours in your employment contract, then awesome. Unless someone gets a hold of Costco's employment contract, I will not believe it until I see it. They can promise you until they are blue in the face you will be guaranteed x-amount of hours, but unless it is in writing, their promise does not mean anything. This is a huge corporation, same as any other large corporation. Their eyes are on their financial bottom line, not the workers. Also, another interesting aspect to learn about is how many of these new jobs were actually new hires, and not transfers from their existing stores? Then I think people may think differently about how awesome it is that they are "hiring" 180 if a majority comes from other stores...


Sun, Jun 24, 2012 : 5:33 p.m.

"Do people really believe that they are going to get a starting pay at 17?" No...That is unless they are like you and don't know the difference between average and starting hourly pay.

Greg Coury

Sun, Jun 24, 2012 : 2:44 p.m.

Actually if you are promised 24 hours as a part timer it is in writing not just words. With top of scale for everybody over $20 per hour and starting rate of $11 the $17 averaged is real also. The article states average pay not starting pay.


Sun, Jun 24, 2012 : 1:30 p.m.

Governor Snyder has nothing to do with Costco's decision to open a store in Pittsfield Township and may not even recognize the name since it does not cater to the wealthy. Costco is more interested in the potential revenue it can generate from the new store rather than any tax reduction on its profits.

Chris Hall

Wed, Jun 27, 2012 : 8:06 p.m.

I don't think you'll see many Rolls Royce's or celebrities there. They offer similar products to many other mass merchants such as Best Buy, Sears & Meijer but they offer some products in bulk for less money and they save money because of limited ambiance, and they sell memberships for $55 each. It's more of an upscale Sam's Club rather than a country club shopping experience for the wealthy. I bet you'll see people from every economic bracket there.


Mon, Jun 25, 2012 : 1:47 p.m.

I for one cannot afford the membership fee to shop there...


Sun, Jun 24, 2012 : 10:21 p.m.

Wrong wrong wrong....Costco caters to the wealthy and their mainstay is upper middle class....

Laura Jones

Sun, Jun 24, 2012 : 3:54 p.m.

Actually, you are very wrong. Costco's demographic is very much the upper middle class and wealthy. Lower middle class and poor people cannot afford the membership or the cash outlay to purchase in bulk. It's why they have been so successful in a down economy.


Sun, Jun 24, 2012 : 1:26 p.m.

Well, there goes the neighborhood! Now all of those 99%er's will have a reason to come to Ann Arbor and Destroy the planet!

Chris Hall

Wed, Jun 27, 2012 : 8:02 p.m.

I get the joke, but I'm also surprised that people are approaching this in such a partisan manner. Costco is a corporation, they want to make more money, they identified this area as a potential money maker - they built a store. I doubt they consulted with any politicians (except the township officials they were required to). And, I bet they want people from every political party to shop there. Opening a store isn't Democrat or Republican - it's capitalist.


Sun, Jun 24, 2012 : 5:31 p.m.

My Word @Veracity! It amazes me how people take comments so seriously when they are blatantly and screamingly meant to be a joke.


Sun, Jun 24, 2012 : 2:47 p.m.

I'm sure the residents of Livingston County will be happy if the liberal pseudo-hippies stay in Washtenaw County where they belong.


Sun, Jun 24, 2012 : 1:54 p.m.

Better yet, we won't have to patronize Tea Party heaven Livingston Country any more to do our Costco shopping.


Sun, Jun 24, 2012 : 1:32 p.m.

So speaketh the "elitist Republican"!


Sun, Jun 24, 2012 : 1:22 p.m.

Costco may bring some jobs to the area, but I believe there will be a net loss as local businesses close because they can't compete with the mega chain. I have always been willing to pay a little more for for an item if I'm buying it from a local, non-chain store. Please don't forget the businesses who weathered the economic storm in Michigan. Those are your true neighbors.

Chris Hall

Wed, Jun 27, 2012 : 7:58 p.m.

I haven't heard of any store closures other then Country Market - which was mostly affected by Wal-Mart. Are there others?

John Hritz

Mon, Jun 25, 2012 : 8:42 p.m.

@Craig has a fair point. Local is important, but if you have a choice between buying from a chain that pays $17/hr to their workers and offers benefits, vs. a local store that pays minimum wage and no benefits, _then_ who do you pick? The media frequently holds up small business owners as the engine of job creation, but it depends on whether your talking quantity or if a job means full-time at a living wage with benefits. Someone on this thread suggested that Costco may not be creating that many full time jobs. It would useful to have those numbers.


Sun, Jun 24, 2012 : 10:19 p.m.

No problem with the concept of better prices for the same goods.... Want an example?....Just recently replaced a digital camera at my job -- The Costco price was 399.99 and the membership was 55.00 (which I had anyway). That exact same camera at Best Buy was 529.00. That's a substantial savings for the exact same item. ANother example? When I bought my new TV for my home about a year ago, the price at Big George was 1499.00....That exact same model, which I purchased at Costco, was 999.00. That's a 500 dollar difference for the exact same goods. Yeah, Costco! Welcome! No more trips to Livonia. (I hate the Brighton location, even though its closer, because I can't stand those roundabouts. Talk about something that decreased business....)


Sun, Jun 24, 2012 : 6:11 p.m.

"Whats your threshold?" Some peoples threshold is anything reasonable to give back to the community. Working in the service industry as I do, nothing I can stand more is folks wanting me to price match with our main competitor (a corporate chain) that tries to (and can afford to) undercut us on everything, when these exact same customers will have the nerve to buy from "them" but try to come to us with a problem or help they need because they can't seem to get "them" to stand behind their product or may only have the option to make a phone call and be put on hold for hours only to finally speak to a complete stranger speaking broken English in India.


Sun, Jun 24, 2012 : 5:27 p.m.

If there were local, non-corporate businesses with comparable products left, I would agree with you. Prove me wrong and give me some names because I would prefer to give my money to mom and pop.

Craig Lounsbury

Sun, Jun 24, 2012 : 2:29 p.m.

"I have always been willing to pay a little more for for an item if I'm buying it from a local, non-chain store. " I feel the same but presumably we all have a price. If an item at Costco is $50 and I can find it for $48 somewhere on the internet I might be willing to pay $55 at a local store. But at $60 I would hesitate big time. At $65 there is no way. Whats your threshold?

Dog Guy

Sun, Jun 24, 2012 : 1 p.m.

:-b self-appointed Scio Twp. watchdogs! (the raspberry emoticon)


Sun, Jun 24, 2012 : 12:47 p.m.

I love COSTCO in comparison to its competitors - glad to be able to belong to a warehouse club that offers that quality and pricing without the predatory crap that comes with Walmart and Sams Club and how poorly they treat their employees. I would be more interested in what the STORE wages are. Averages over the whole corporation are heavily weighted by the compensation of the executives. Wage information based on the LOCAL wages paid would be more helpful and contextually valid for this article.


Sun, Jun 24, 2012 : 12:44 p.m.

As Country Market has already announced closure, with that loss of employment for dozens (hundreds?) how many jobs actually get "created"? It's not like people will eat/consume more because there is a new store.

Chris Hall

Wed, Jun 27, 2012 : 7:50 p.m.

Country Market has been a great supermarket but they suffered a big loss when Wal-Mart opened down the street. They never fully recovered from that. Costco is the last nail in the coffin but not the whole reason. I'll miss Country Market, they knew how to run a grocery store.


Sun, Jun 24, 2012 : 12:30 p.m.

Thank you Costco , $17.00 an hour jobs!! Thank you Rick Snyder !!


Sun, Jun 24, 2012 : 2:41 p.m.

Actually Rick just axed thousands of good paying, full time teacher jobs for some less than $25K jobs. I am sure Costco will get some state tax breaks from the $1.7B tax cut, but how does that really help the state? The middle class just took another backward slide. Also, Costoco would have built there whether Rick and the mindless tax cutters had given business these ridiclous tax cuts.


Sun, Jun 24, 2012 : 1:34 p.m.

good luck getting those 17.00 /hr jobs. no one I know who has a job there is getting 17.The store in Brighton gives them 30 -35 hrs. then your lucky to get 25


Sun, Jun 24, 2012 : 1:27 p.m.

Actually, blame (or credit) goes to predatory chains like Walmart, along with CEO's who moved their business (Gateway Computers being one of them) to China.

Elijah Shalis

Sun, Jun 24, 2012 : 1:26 p.m.

I agree, thank you Granholm and Obama


Sun, Jun 24, 2012 : 12:37 p.m.

What does the Governor have to do with this? Costco was looking to open a store in this area before he was elected. They already have other stores in the state. if anyone is to be credited, it's President Obama! ;-)


Sun, Jun 24, 2012 : 11:21 a.m.

Bring on Costco, I can't wait. Now I don't have to travel to Livonia. Costco is about 10 minutes from where I live.


Sun, Jun 24, 2012 : 10:22 a.m.

I believe you will find that the "competing Sam's Club" is at the corner of Carpenter and Michigan Ave., also in Pittsfield Township.


Sun, Jun 24, 2012 : 7:36 p.m.

I have no idea what your comment means! Don't think the zip code matters? How about we have Yspi take over the AA post-office, then everyone in the area can proudly say they live in Ypsilanti, MI! I'd bet there would be one or two people upset with that. No matter how you dice it, economic diversity always means increased violence. In AA there is little to no economic diversity, yet in Ypsilanti there is loads of it, hence why no one is proud to say they're from that city and why us Pittsfield township folks try to hide our post-office.

Monica R-W

Sun, Jun 24, 2012 : 6:13 p.m.

Joe.Blow, So you believe "gang-bangers" are non-existent in Pittsfield Township? How about this, move further away from Ypsilanti, like to Manchester...get a entirely new Post Office/Zip Code and with such, there would be no need for you to comment on any Pittsfield Township related stories on Ann Sounds like the perfect plan to me to get away from all the "gang-bangers".....

Paula Gardner

Sun, Jun 24, 2012 : 12:43 p.m.

Absolutely correct. I'm changing it in the story right now. Sorry that slipped through.

Craig Lounsbury

Sun, Jun 24, 2012 : 11:51 a.m.

I think oldblue was just pointing out the location is not in Ypsilanti Township as the article says..... "...... the competing Sam's Club in Ypsilanti Township."


Sun, Jun 24, 2012 : 10:38 a.m.

Sam's is nothing compared to Costco! Costco has much more.