Costco’s basic idea was opening low cost warehouse stores, not located in higher cost shopping centers, and offering a no frills limited selection of goods that could be had in bulk at significantly lower prices.
My nearby Costco was an abandoned warehouse next to a Home Depot and across a boulevard from a Salvation Army facility that includes housing for some very poor people. Adjoining that property is apartment complexes for a struggling working class community.
There were people always sitting on the curb hoping to obtain day jobs. That is probably the consequence of the Home Depot. Some shoppers were uncomfortable with the environment and would not shop at that Costco.
Despite my description of that Costco it was a very busy place. Weekends were always packed with shoppers to the extent that a very large parking lot was near capacity and lines in the store checkout were long.
Just 2½ miles away Westfield (the Australian shopping center developer) owns the Westfield Topanga Mall that houses high end stores including a Neiman Marcus department store. That mall is on the perimeter of Warner Center and just 3 miles from Kim Kardashian and Jay z’s home in Hidden Hills and about 4½ miles from Calabasas which is the home of many entertainment and sports stars.
So Costco, understanding that wealthy people have more money to spend than the rest of us, closed their 20 year old warehouse and moved the 2½ miles into a new building that still has warehouse racking inside but offers the things that only the very wealthy can afford.
What could they offer that is not at your usual Costco?
Louis Vuitton and Chanel Handbags for $1500 (no picture).
$23,000 wedding ring.
A $19,000 Patek Phillipe watch.
A $150,000 5.34 carat Round solitaire pendant on what must be a diamond studded necklace. Click the picture to confirm that price.
There are no words that I can write to portray my astonishment.