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Costco Opens First Business Centre Location in Canada

Costco Opens First Business Centre Location in Canada

By Simon Hung

Costco opened a new store in Canada this past week, but it’s a format that may be unfamiliar to regular Costco shoppers.

Costco Business Centre -- located at 50 Thermos Road in Scarborough, ON -- is the first Business Centre location to open in Canada and caters to small business owners. Costco hopes the format is popular with their business clientele and aims to open more Business Centres in major cities within the next five years.

All Costco members are welcome to shop, but don’t expect to find your regular assortment of Costco merchandise like apparel or toys, because up to 90% of the products stocked in Costco Business Centres are not available at traditional Costco stores. Instead, these stores cater heavily towards the food service industry and some products include restaurant supplies, food and meat in bulk volumes and commercial-grade appliances.

Utensils, cookware and other cooking supplies are available for individual purchase.

RFD forum member markopas visited the store during its grand opening and uploaded approximately 150 photographs in our Shopping Discussion forum. The restaurant theme was evident, as many food products were sold in large volumes that would be impractical for ordinary consumer use.

We’ve included some of the more interesting finds in the store to help give you an idea of what’s available.

Some might argue a 3kg tub of Nutella isn't quite enough for their needs.

This 208L barrel of olive oil is available for $999.99. (via BNN.ca)

Various meats (including whole lambs) are available by the case. (via StyleDemocracy.com)

Many candies and snacks are available by the case.

Umm, okay. (via BNN.ca)

Costco Business Centre is open from 7:00 AM - 6:00 PM from Monday to Friday and 7:00 AM - 4:00 PM on Saturday (the store is closed on Sunday).

Those in the Greater Toronto Area can also shop online for products including groceries and office supplies. Online pricing includes a small markup compared to in-store prices to cover delivery and no minimum order is required. However, note that deliveries can only be made to business addresses that meet Costco's delivery requirements.

39 Comments

    • At Warden and Eglinton, on Thermos Rd.
    • Report Post
    • bratman wrote:
      Dec 14th, 2016 11:23 am
      At Warden and Eglinton, on Thermos Rd.
      Phew.... I'm glad it's not my regular Warden location. Personally that would be bad to loose the apparel, optical, tire and pharmacy. But another one around the corner is welcome.
    • Report Post
    • Oh, I had thought it was going to be located in Thorncliffe (Overlea Blvd), but I guess that area isn't Scarborough.
    • Report Post
    • My wife saw a sign for it, that it was coming soon. I think it may be the old Rona location IIRC.
      sudesingh wrote:
      Dec 14th, 2016 12:16 pm
      Phew.... I'm glad it's not my regular Warden location. Personally that would be bad to loose the apparel, optical, tire and pharmacy. But another one around the corner is welcome.
      coriolis wrote:
      Dec 14th, 2016 12:28 pm
      Oh, I had thought it was going to be located in Thorncliffe (Overlea Blvd), but I guess that area isn't Scarborough.
      We've been told that's a new regular Costco. But we were told that last year and haven't heard any progress on that since.

      That Warden and Canadiana location is a total nightmare. I dislike going there. Not only is it really busy, a good chunk of the customers are just rude.
    • Report Post
    • EugW wrote:
      Dec 14th, 2016 1:17 pm
      That Warden and Canadiana location is a total nightmare. I dislike going there. Not only is it really busy, a good chunk of the customers are just rude.
      Well, that's how your standard Costco customer normally is... unfortunately.
    • Report Post
    • roblombardi wrote:
      Dec 14th, 2016 1:23 pm
      Well, that's how your standard Costco customer normally is... unfortunately.
      Yup, costco customers are definitely worse than walmart customers.
    • Report Post
    • Best quote from the article:

      “They come in very early in the morning, they get their stuff and they don’t want Sally Homemaker getting ahead of them and buying lightbulbs."

      Come on, what he is really saying is business owners are tired of dealing with the certain demographic that ruins the Costco experience especially at Scarborough and Markham (and to a lesser extent Billy Bishop). So Costco needs to introduce a format that hopefully won't draw that demographic.... The fact this new location is so close to Ellesmere/Warden speaks volumes -- normally in retail you want your newest location to be equidistant to your current stores to minimize cannibalization.

      Won't matter. They'll still bring their SUVs with grandma, grandpa, mom, dad, and the entire litter... Maybe the lack of $1.50 hot dogs (and more importantly the condiments to hoard/steal) will keep them away...
    • Report Post
    • If you do a google search on "costco business center scarborough", the address comes up as

      50 Thermos Rd, Scarborough, ON
    • Report Post
    • It's true, sometimes I'm trying to be a quick shopper and moving at the Warden & Ellesmere Costco is near impossible.
      I could see it being even worse if you're a small business owner.
    • Report Post
    • I really hope they expand Costco Business to the West.
    • Report Post
    • Smart idea. It will do very very well. Costco is a cash cow.
    • Report Post
    • playnicee1 wrote:
      Mar 19th, 2017 9:02 pm
      I wonder how well they'll do up against Staples...Or maybe I should say I wonder what Staples will do now? lol
      Assuming it's anything like the US Business stores, it's not even a contest.
      Staples doesn't sell meat. The only place they're "competing" (and I use that lightly) is office stuff.

      While I have no idea what other cash and carry places are in Ontario, someone like Wholesale Club is the one to be worried.

      Also I wish they'd come out West.
      There's one in Seattle area but it's still far.
      Plus lugging a bunch of business stuff over the border isn't fun.
    • Report Post
    • coriolis wrote:
      Dec 14th, 2016 12:28 pm
      Oh, I had thought it was going to be located in Thorncliffe (Overlea Blvd), but I guess that area isn't Scarborough.
      The only information I have regarding the Overlea blvd location is that they wanted to include a gas station, but that idea was shot down.
      As a result, Costco may be rejecting the plan.
      What surprises me is that they go ahead with a Costco Business in a former Zellers store but they did not choose to put one in the former target space in the Thorncliff mall...at least temporarily until they get things worked out across the street.
      (assuming that the two level Target there has the same or similar square footage as the one level Zellers on Thermos road... ???)
    • Report Post
    • playnicee1 wrote:
      Mar 19th, 2017 10:26 pm
      The only information I have regarding the Overlea blvd location is that they wanted to include a gas station, but that idea was shot down.
      As a result, Costco may be rejecting the plan.
      What surprises me is that they go ahead with a Costco Business in a former Zellers store but they did not choose to put one in the former target space in the Thorncliff mall...at least temporarily until they get things worked out across the street.
      (assuming that the two level Target there has the same or similar square footage as the one level Zellers on Thermos road... ???)

      The former target space was 139 768 sq ft over two floor according to wiki and the Eglinton location has 120 000 sq ft according to toronto star.
    • Report Post
    • Updated thread with grand opening info, location and hours. They have a distinct business Costco website.
    • Report Post
    • playnicee1 wrote:
      Mar 19th, 2017 10:26 pm
      The only information I have regarding the Overlea blvd location is that they wanted to include a gas station, but that idea was shot down.
      As a result, Costco may be rejecting the plan.
      What surprises me is that they go ahead with a Costco Business in a former Zellers store but they did not choose to put one in the former target space in the Thorncliff mall...at least temporarily until they get things worked out across the street.
      (assuming that the two level Target there has the same or similar square footage as the one level Zellers on Thermos road... ???)
      Perhaps they chose the Scarborough location because it's a standalone building not attached to a mall, with it's own parking and also because it's all on one floor.
    • Report Post
    • Overlea is going to a be a regular store.

      The 2208 Eglinton East location is a Costco Business store.
    • Report Post
    • TRK9 wrote:
      Mar 20th, 2017 4:23 pm
      Perhaps they chose the Scarborough location because it's a standalone building not attached to a mall, with it's own parking and also because it's all on one floor.
      Another valid question is, are they actually renting the building in Scarborough? Or did they buy it? If bought, maybe they're not into renting...? (Not a fact, just a thought)
      The Thorncliff mall space would mean that they'd have to rent...
    • Report Post
    • TRK9 wrote:
      Mar 20th, 2017 4:23 pm
      Perhaps they chose the Scarborough location because it's a standalone building not attached to a mall.
      Excellent point.
      It gives them the freedom to not do mall hours.
      Given that hours of operation, as of March 31, 2017 will be:
      "Business-friendly hours"
      "Earlier, more convenient shopping hours."
      Monday to Friday: 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.
      Saturday: 7 a.m. to 4 p.m.

      Along with the freedom to be closed Sundays while malls might dictate longer hours and force them to be open Sunday.
    • Report Post
    • Anyone know of any promos or anything happening on opening day? Will it madness - boxing day like?
    • Report Post
    • dosmaster wrote:
      Mar 20th, 2017 9:55 pm
      Anyone know of any promos or anything happening on opening day? Will it madness - boxing day like?
      "boxing day like" for business supplies?
    • Report Post
    • TRK9 wrote:
      Mar 20th, 2017 4:23 pm
      Perhaps they chose the Scarborough location because it's a standalone building not attached to a mall, with it's own parking and also because it's all on one floor.
      It's a really nice plaza, and there's lots of small businesses around. The area is mostly industrial, wide roads running parallel to eglinton and warden. Basically perfect for business shoppers. Many residents near the current Ellesmere location down Warden to this location appear quite affluent these days. Last 10 years have been excellent for this area, commercially.
    • Report Post
    • I was at Costco today and inquired about the new business costco and talked to an employee who was familiar with it as he was training there and will be transferring there on opening weekend.

      Not sure if this is new to anyone but it was to me. Apparently the entire concept is different, not just the products. The store will be staffed by "pickers" who will grab the stuff for you after you hand them the list of what you want. Some department like frozen foods do not allow you to grab the product yourself. Staff hands you a jacket and you proceed to walk into their walk in coolers. You write down the product number of what you want and hand the list to the "picker" who will then grab and load your items for you into a cart.

      I wasn't able to talk much as it was really busy but from what I understood the entire store is like that. Some of it is self serve but if you wanted you could walk around the entire store and write down your entire order on a list, hand it in and wait while they pick it for you or you can pay for it and have it delivered the next day.

      I was also led to believe that any non business owner would not be impressed. The store isn't slightly geared towards business owners with a mix of products fer home and business like a "Wholesale club store", it's almost entirely devoted to business owners so pretty much everything is in bulk. Not bulk as in how the traditional Costco sells now but bulk quantities that would only suit a business owner. 4 Litre jugs of condiments like relish/mustard is the example I was given.

      I'm super excited and my wife thinks I'm nuts, lol.

      I don't care how crazy it's going to be on opening day, I'l be there!
    • Report Post
    • EastGTARedFlagger wrote:
      Mar 22nd, 2017 12:49 am
      Just watch this video and you should know right away if the Business Centre is for you:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7ez3z4UpCZM

      And this blogger took photos similar to our two RFD buddies in Montreal do every Monday:

      https://costcoconnoisseur.blogspot.ca/2 ... enter.html

      My impression from that video and that blog is, Business Centres are like combining Russell-Hendrix and Gordon Food Service Store, injecting them with steroids, then shoving the two monsters into a Costco building.
      Will still check it out but from the looks of things it's not for me.
    • Report Post
    • scoper wrote:
      Mar 23rd, 2017 3:30 pm
      Will still check it out but from the looks of things it's not for me.
      Most of the consumable goods are case lots, but there are things like kitchen stuff.
      Cheap knives (that are actually pretty decent), commercial grade tools, pans, etc. in reasonable quantities.
      Also if you buy whole primals they (well the US at least) had a decent selection.

      Food though is basically a non-starter unless you have a family of 12.
    • Report Post
    • I went and checked out the open house tonight with a friend who had a pass since it opens tomorrow morning at 7am.

      One of the employees said only 15% of the products found in store are found also in regular costcos. The number is a bit higher right now as Costco gets more vendors on board with the new format in Canada.

      Some examples are: huge industrial appliances, business supplies (duh!), huge volumes of produce & meats. The candy section reminiscent of the 1990's Price Club days, They definitely have items that non business people could buy. There's a few things for the price I would buy in bulk of that size to save money that a regular Costco doesn't carry.

      One of the managers there said they expect to open a Costco Business Center in West Mississauga at the old rona at Winston Churchill/401 in 2018-2019 depending on how well this new concept goes.

      I would definitely give the store a thumbs up and recommend any business or regular Costco shopper to take a look.
    • Report Post
    • GhostBusters wrote:
      Mar 30th, 2017 9:22 pm
      would buy in bulk of that size to save money that a regular Costco doesn't carry.
      Costco as of late has become FAR more "retail" in terms of sizing.
      I miss the days where I (for example) could buy a half gallon of febreeze with one sprayer.
      Now it's a 2 pack of sprayers.

      Everything nowadays is becoming more "4 pack of retail" rather than industrial sizes.
      I guess that's why it's so popular nowadays. It's not only large families that can take advantage now.
      Even the average sized household can benefit if 3/4 items are sealed.
    • Report Post
    • So has anyone been to the grand opening today? How were the crowds?
    • Report Post
    • bobor wrote:
      Mar 31st, 2017 8:45 am
      So has anyone been to the grand opening today? How were the crowds?
      I will post up a review shortly
    • Report Post
    • The parking lot looks full from my vantage point.
    • Report Post
    • death_hawk wrote:
      Mar 30th, 2017 9:55 pm
      Costco as of late has become FAR more "retail" in terms of sizing.
      I miss the days where I (for example) could buy a half gallon of febreeze with one sprayer.
      Now it's a 2 pack of sprayers.

      Everything nowadays is becoming more "4 pack of retail" rather than industrial sizes.
      I guess that's why it's so popular nowadays. It's not only large families that can take advantage now.
      Even the average sized household can benefit if 3/4 items are sealed.
      I agree the sizing just isn't what it used to be. However, they are definitely catering to more people then ever. I know a lot more people with two person households that go to Costco then say in the late 90s.

      The business format store is bringing out the old school Price Club in some respects.
    • Report Post
    • Was there Sat, parking lot was full but the walking lanes seem wider than regular Costcos, it was more comfortable to walk around and checking out seemed faster/more convenient. They have a LOT of bottled water varieries, the fridge areas with the fruits/veggies/meats/cheeses are freezing although they do provide jackets. They have even bigger packaging for some nuts/seeds at pretty good prices, great pricing on bulk frozen blueberries. I really think they need signs for what each lane stocks. Overall I'm more impressed than I thought I would be and will be going again.
    • Report Post
    • scoper wrote:
      Apr 3rd, 2017 12:08 am
      I really think they need signs for what each lane stocks.
      This is one of the well-known Costco tricks, a throwback to the "good old days" when the only way to know the specials was to go in every week.

      They don't sign the aisles nor consistently put things in the same places in order to force you to walk the whole damn store each and every time... and of course make more impulse buys along the way. I remember when I used to shop the Hell store (Warden/Ellesmere) in the 90's, it felt like every few nights they'd send a crew with the forklift trucks to reshuffle all the pallets all over the store so you never knew where what you wanted was hidden the next time.

      I shop Sam's Club in the USA and unlike Costco, Sam's does sign their aisles and puts items in the same places.
    • Report Post
    • EastGTARedFlagger wrote:
      Apr 3rd, 2017 7:40 pm
      This is one of the well-known Costco tricks,
      Sure, maybe, but isn't their business Costco a smaller store??
    • Report Post
    • playnicee1 wrote:
      Apr 4th, 2017 3:48 pm
      Sure, maybe, but isn't their business Costco a smaller store??
      From the photos I'd say the Business Centre is a larger store. Both in floor area and in the sizes of the merchandise!
      Doesn't matter, it's still a Costco and still has the same "tricks" (which to me are annoyances... cue the Costco fanbois...).
    • Report Post