Local

New Costco opens in St. Augustine, giving folks more shopping options

ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. — It looked like a scene you’d see on Black Friday.

“Why did you want to be here today?” Action News Jax reporter Jessica Barreto asked a couple of shoppers.

“Why not?” they replied with a smile. Shoppers were anxiously waiting for Costco’s doors to open at 7:30 a.m. Wednesday, welcoming them inside for the first time.

RELATED: Costco in St. Augustine set to open in August

“You have no idea how happy we are,” remarked another shopper.

This newest addition, right across from the Buc-ee’s off Interstate-95, is helping support a growing population. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the population in St. Johns County has spiked by 43% in the past decade.

This is the third Costco location in Northeast Florida. There is one at the St. Johns Town Center, and one on Collins Road in Duval. But this marks the first Costco in St. Augustine.

STORY: Duval County preparing for I-95 and I-10 construction project

The new Costco says it had received 4,000 new membership sign-ups leading up to Wednesday, and it is expecting 500 to 600 new memberships on the spot throughout the course of the day.

The Costco in St. Augustine also hired 150 people locally and is giving neighbors more shopping options for their essential items.

“This is something I drink and of course, coffee, and wine,” one shopper pointed out as she went through her cart.

Shopper Heather Dauphin said she got “a little bit of everything. Frozen foods, vacuum, wine, coke.”

Action News Jax also told you last month that a brand-new Ascension St. Vincent’s Hospital opened off County Road 210 (about 9 miles from the new Costco), giving neighbors here more health care options.

RELATED: Ascension St. Vincent’s St. Johns County hospital now open for business

“They definitely need it here,” Pamela Chatman, a traveling nurse, told Action News Jax at the time.

For folks living in St. Johns County, that means less driving back and forth between Duval, and more focusing on fostering growth right here. Costco can be one way to make that happen.

“People know the kinda traffic that comes into a Costco,” emphasized manager Nash Myers. “Obviously with that anchor, people are gonna come.”