Having been refused permission to develop a site at Bussy-Saint-Georges, Costco has named Villebon-sur-Yvette as the location of its first depot in France, scheduled to open in 2015. Like Bussy, Villebon is a growing surburban development of Paris and lies just 14 miles from the centre of the capital.
Strong catchment for Costco model
Villebon-sur-Yvette lies just south of Paris, adjacent to the L'Acquitaine autoroute, offering accessibility to a very wide catchment. In the UK, experience indicates that Costco depots can draw custom from over 50 miles, where sites are located close to motorways.
Targeting 15 depots in a decade
Costco has indicated it believes, once established, it will have scope to develop 15 sites over the next 10 years, a rate slightly quicker than that achieved in the UK, where planning restrictions have proved an ongoing frustration. Obviously, Paris and its environs will be a major focus for this development programme and it is hoped six of the 15 with be located around the capital.
To launch in Spain in 2014
The path to launch has proved smoother for Costco in Spain, its other chosen European market. Here work is now already well underway on its depot at Seville, which will open next spring. While the Spanish economy remains depressed, the better availability and cost of property has improved the scope of development opportunities for businesses looking to invest.