17.5.11

Costco in Beirut?

Not long ago I started hearing rumors about Costco. I was told that there was one here in Beirut, that it stocked the same kinds of things as Costco in the US and that they even had the Walmart off-brand merchandise.

It's true.

It's not as huge or warehouse-like as it's American counterpart.  In my case that's a good thing since I have mini anxiety attacks in huge stores.  This is where Costco is, just south of Beirut:

The shop is between the Golf Club and TSC Jnah. If you're coming from Beirut, you'll want to get off the airport highway near TSC so you don't overshoot your target.

They're open from 9 AM to 8 PM Monday-Saturday, and they're open Sunday too, 10 AM to . . . I've forgotten. But then, their phone number is on the sign and if you really need to know you could always call and ask.

8 comments:

  1. Wow... Costco and McDonald's and Starbucks, all over the world.

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  2. They have a brand new, monster Costco in Burnsville near us, the adjacent suburb. Not good news for the family owned stores!

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  3. It's interesting that Costco abandoned the idea of being a huge warehouse in order to get a presence in Beirut.

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  4. But are their prices as cheap as in the US ? That would surprise me. Seemed to me things were pretty expensive there, especially if they came from far away...

    Ah, just a few blocks from the sea... must be nice to be an employee there, could walk to the beach for lunch break.

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  5. I'm guessing this is not a legitimate Costco. Am I right? Kind of like Pizza Hot in Damascus or Saveway in Cairo? Sounds interesting, though. I think I'd take a fake Costco over no Costco.

    (I love your blog, by the way.)

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  6. Mary Ann, How interesting!
    As a long time Costco employee, I believe this is one of those copy cat businesses. Over the years I have seen a number of membership cards from countries where Costco had not yet had a presence, but never Lebanon. Although Costco is international, we do not have one in Beirut. Interestingly enough, when you search Lebanon on the Costco.com web site, the closest locations are the ones in England.

    I am curious - do they charge a membership fee?

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  7. Thanks for all the nice comments, everyone.

    It was clear to me from the outset that it wasn't going to be a "real" Costco. It's in a rented basement of an apartment building, first of all. And inside you'll find Prada, Hermes, and Armani jeans along side all the other stuff.

    A large amount of what they had in stock could have been purchased in TSC or Spinneys, though there were some products I haven't seen elsewhere.

    Prices seemed reasonable but not fantastic. The special "no one else has this" products were much more expensive than they'd be in the US--which is something I've become accustomed to.

    No membership as near as I can tell.

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  8. Everything in Lebanon is fake!
    Including us, we are fake!

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