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Costco Kapolei opens its doors


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POSTED: Saturday, February 28, 2009

The Costco Kapolei warehouse and gas station opened to a flood of customers yesterday morning.

Customers lined up as early as 6 a.m. outside the 160,000-square-foot warehouse at the intersection of Kalaeloa Boulevard and Kapolei Parkway. By the time the doors opened nearly two hours later, the line wrapped around the building.

               

     

 

COSTCO KAPOLEI

        » Location: 4589 Kapolei Parkway
       

» Size: 160,000 square feet

       

» Manager: Max Ramos

       

» Employees: About 250

       

» Highlights: Gas station, indoor food court, self-checkout lanes

       

Source: Costco Wholesale Corp.

       

 

       

Hundreds of customers came from as far as Hawaii Kai to just a few blocks away. By mid-morning, the parking lot was in gridlock, with police officers directing traffic at jammed intersections.

Inside, there was customer gridlock, and checkout lines stretched all the way to the deli at the back of the store, although they were moving.

“;It's just incredible,”; said Costco Kapolei manager Max Ramos. “;I'm a little overwhelmed. We want to thank the Kapolei community for welcoming us. We're thrilled to be out here.”;

Previously, Kapolei residents drove about 12 miles east to Waipio, 20 miles east to Iwilei or 30 miles east to Hawaii Kai to shop at Costco.

Costco Kapolei has a layout similar to other warehouses, offering a photo department, pharmacy, hearing aid center, optical department and tire center.

The food court, however, is indoors. Also, there are four self-checkout lanes.

Kristeen Yasue of Hawaii Kai was waiting outside for a shopping cart with her two children yesterday.

Even though there is a Costco in Hawaii Kai, she said: “;We just wanted to check out the new one.”;

Yolanda Loria of Kunia said she will likely become a regular at the Costco Kapolei because although it's about the same distance to the one in Waipio, it's an easier drive and there's more selection.

Loria loaded up on macadamia nuts, School Kine cookies and eggs for a household of four adults and two grandkids.

Many customers, like Loria, were at the Costco Kapolei opening yesterday to take advantage of coupons and two-for-one specials for a gallon of Passion Orange Guava juice, for instance, and extra large Grade A eggs, which were flying off the shelves.

Joy Matsukawa of Mililani was in line with a flatbed and two cartloads of goods that were for the Mililani High School varsity baseball team fundraiser concession stand, which will offer burgers, chili dogs, chips and drinks. She came for the specials.

“;We were out here at 7 a.m.,”; said Matsukawa. “;If it saves the team money, we're here.”;

Edgar Vida of Makakilo was in line with a flatbed loaded up with basic household goods like baby wipes, laundry detergent, drinks and eggs.

Vida gave the warehouse a thumbs up. “;It's not bad compared to having to go all the way to Waipio,”; he said.

Costco gas yesterday was $2.24 a gallon for regular unleaded, and $2.44 a gallon for premium unleaded. The Kapolei location's station has 16 pumps and is open.

 

Washington-based Costco Wholesale Corp. hired about 250 employees for the new warehouse, which is the company's seventh in the isles.