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Thursday, October 17, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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News >  Business

North Spokane Costco grand opening draws thousands

UPDATED: Fri., July 20, 2018, 3:54 p.m.

Checker Michele Lamanna tells a young customer happy birthday while engaging in friendly conversation on July 20, 2018 during the opening day of the north Spokane Costco on July 20, 2018. The 134,000 square foot retail store replaces the former North Division Costco, and is now open at 12020 N. Newport Highway. (Libby Kamrowski / The Spokesman-Review)
Checker Michele Lamanna tells a young customer happy birthday while engaging in friendly conversation on July 20, 2018 during the opening day of the north Spokane Costco on July 20, 2018. The 134,000 square foot retail store replaces the former North Division Costco, and is now open at 12020 N. Newport Highway. (Libby Kamrowski / The Spokesman-Review)

Free samples.

That’s what drew Desire McGinn and many of Costco’s customers to the opening of the chain’s newest Spokane store at 12020 N. Newport Highway. It replaces a smaller Costco on north Division Street, which closed Thursday.

The new Costco is about 25 percent larger and has hired an additional 50 people.

Cars flooded the parking lot for the 8 a.m. Friday opening, creating minor gridlock, and three sheriff’s deputies were tasked with controlling the traffic in and out. The roundabout leading to the entrance was a pinch point for cars stacked about 10 deep for hours after it opened.

McGinn and her two daughters steered their shopping cart though the aisles of Costco, picking up free samples of chips, seltzer water, beef jerky and chocolate.

The mountain of blue boxes of women’s Birkenstock sandals eroded quickly as customers grabbed their sizes. A man sold seafood out of a glass stand near the back of the store. A woman wheeled a cabinet packed in a cardboard box to the crowded checkout lines, and the concession stand sold hotdogs and chicken bakes.

For McGinn, the newest Costco isn’t the closest one to her house, but she and her daughters came to the grand opening for samples, first and foremost. But she also has a family of six that she needs to feed.

“It sounded like fun,” she said.

Wordcount: 229

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