New Maine Location Costco courtesy photo

The first-ever Costco in Maine officially opened its doors Nov. 17 and Costco enthusiasts David and Susan Schwartz, co-authors of the Amazon bestseller, “The Joy of Costco: A Treasure Hunt from A to Z,” were there.

The 161,000-square-foot warehouse store, complete with a gas station offers a diverse range of products, including bulk-sized groceries at discounted rates, toys, electronics, computers, furniture, appliances, yard equipment, and various household goods.

Prior to the opening, Scarborough Economic Development Corporation (SEDCO) Executive Director Karen D. Martin said, “We are pleased to welcome Costco to Scarborough and look forward to their grand opening on Friday November 17. As the first Costco in Maine, it is sure to be a regional, and even statewide draw.” Martin said Costco, located at 455 Downs Road, and the Town of Scarborough worked diligently during the planning process to think through potential impacts from such a regional facility. “Its location at The Downs and near the turnpike exit will certainly help mitigate traffic issues. As always, during the local planning process, the Planning Board and the staff look to balance the needs of an exciting new business with the need to manage the impact on local residents. We look forward to Costco becoming an integral part of the community. We hope that the folks coming to Costco will seek out restaurants, services, and other shopping opportunities in Scarborough during their visit. Our existing businesses have so much to offer,” Martin said.

David and Susan with Gas Station Attendant courtesy photo/ David and Susan Schwartz

At the grand opening, the Schwartz’s and shared their impressions of the new Costco. “To use Costco terminology, the night before opening (in Scarborough), the warehouse was ‘Showtime Ready,’ neat, clean, and ready to wow customers. People seemed excited about it — we ran into people throughout the day who could not wait to shop there.”

The Schwartz’s also pointed out that a large percentage of the merchandise is regionally sourced. “About 40% of the merchandise in any warehouse is sourced regionally or locally, and Scarborough is no exception. We saw some wonderful local products that you won’t find elsewhere, for example, Bixby chocolates, which are manufactured ‘with a conscience’ in a 125-year-old former ice plant located on a working marina in Rockland, Maine.”

The couple even has tips on how to navigate Costco, “Do a thorough walk through all the aisles; you never know what you might find. Also look for items that have rebates on the price label, those are an especially great value. Weekends tend to be busier, but also have great samples to enjoy. Be assured that all items are checked frequently to ensure they are within sell-by dates and stored at ideal temperatures. Pizza at the Food Court is “pulled” after two hours, frozen, and donated to local food banks.”


David and Susan with Bakery Manager[ courtesy photo/ David and Susan Schwartz

“Costco’s merchandise changes frequently to keep the shopping experience fresh and exciting,” said the Schwartz’s. “The deli and bakery, in particular, have a lot of new, exciting, seasonal items. For example, we saw two new bakery items at Scarborough: Mini Gingerbread Cakes and Black Forest Bar Cake with Maraschino Cherries, which both looked great.”

“Now is the time to buy holiday gift items,” the couple said, “because Costco adheres to an ‘early in, early out’ philosophy. By mid-December, the holiday items are dwindling. Costco offers lots of toys and games, clothing and fine wines, and even caviar, all at great prices, and at top quality. The book table offers lots of gift books, including our own, ‘The Joy of Costco: A Treasure Hunt from A to Z’” which would make an excellent holiday gift.”

Claire and Chris Clark of Falmouth said they knew they would sign up as soon as they heard the news that Costco was coming to Scarborough. “We were members when we lived in New Hampshire and missed it. We are so happy to finally have this store in Maine. We just got a great deal on a cat tree today,” Claire said.

Susan and David at Maine store opening courtesy photo/ Susan and David Schwartz

Costco’s impact on the local economy was highlighted by Peter Michaud, managing partner of The Downs,
“Costco was the first large-scale anchor at The Downs, and we knew that it would be a strong attraction for both the business and the residential communities in The Downs and beyond. We believe it will create needed jobs, strengthen the local economy, and create new and positive economic opportunities for businesses in Greater Portland.”

“Costco is contributing hundreds of new jobs to the local economy,” Michaud said, “these are new jobs, and that alone strengthens our state’s economy. Costco will attract shoppers from all across the state and the region, and we hope while they’re visiting Scarborough, they’ll patronize area restaurants and small businesses nearby.”

Concerns about traffic and infrastructure are being addressed, Michaud said. “Additional traffic to town is being addressed within this plan. Much of this work has been completed, but the project is ongoing and still has about two years left of improvements to be made.”

Costco is open Monday-Friday from 10 a.m. to 8:30 p.m., Saturday 9:30 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Sunday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Gingerbread cupcakes at Costco courtesy photo/ Susan and David Schwartz

Bixby chocolate at Maine Costco courtesy photo/ Susan and David Schwartz

Bar cakes Maine Costco courtesy photo/ Susan and David Schwartz

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