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Costco Is Opening Its First Location In This East Coast State

Only four states currently don't have a Costco, and the number will soon drop to two.

Costco continues its steady expansion across America and beyond. The nation's leading wholesale club plans to open 27 new warehouse buildings worldwide in fiscal year 2023, including 14 in the United States. At least three of the new sites are located in Texas, where the retailer's chief rival, Sam's Club, is most heavily concentrated.

While Costco far surpasses Sam's in terms of annual sales—$222.7 billion in 2022, compared to $73.6 billion, according to CNBC—Sam's is slightly ahead in terms of store count. Costco currently operates 585 warehouses nationwide, while Sam's Club has "almost 600," according to its website. (Walmart-owned Sam's does not divulge its exact store count, although data-mining service SmartScrapers puts the total at 598.) Given Costco's aggressive opening schedule this year, the two clubs could be dead-even in the footprint race before Sam's opens its newest store in 2024.

One area where Costco has a slight edge over its main competitor is coverage by state. Costco currently operates in 46 states, plus five stores in Puerto Rico and one in Washington, D.C., while Sam's operates in 45 states and territories. Costco's slim lead, however, could soon increase.

Costco Doubles Down On Expansion Plans And Fee Increases, As Sam's Club Rivalry Heats Up

Officials in Rhode Island this month announced that Costco will be building a new warehouse in the bustling Providence suburb of Cranston, marking its first ever location in the Ocean State. Mayor Ken Hopkins told WPRI-TV that a contract has been signed with the retailer, though he would not confirm a specific address. Hopkins added that developer Carpionato Group soon would be announcing the exact location.

Hopkins indicated that infrastructure improvements along Sockanossett Cross Road are required before the project can move forward. He added that the new Costco probably would not open until mid-2024 at the earliest. "It'll take a least a year to 18 months to build it," he said.

Rhode Island is one of only four states that currently don't have a Costco store. Maine is another, but the warehouse club is working to change that as well. Last August, the town of Scarborough approved plans to construct the Pine Tree State's own first Costco location. WHOM-FM recently reported that the Maine store could open as soon as this year.

The forthcoming additions of Maine and Rhode Island would leave West Virginia and Wyoming as the last two states without a Costco.

Chris Shott
Chris Shott is the Deputy Editor covering restaurants and groceries for Eat This, Not That! Read more about Chris