Costco is eyeing locations across the UK with a view to opening more petrol forecourts.
The wholesale giant, which is a dominant force in the US fuel market, revealed plans earlier this year to open its first UK forecourt at its Liverpool depot.
This week, Costco trading director Steve Barnett confirmed to The Grocer the forecourt would open next spring as part of an ongoing strategy to push into the UK fuel market.
“We’re looking at a number of locations,” Barnett said. “We have a lot of forecourts in the US and we see it as a great added value for our members.”
He also revealed that a second planning application had been submitted for a site adjacent to another UK depot, although he would not disclose the location.
Costco wants to trial two formats - with the forecourt either in the car park or next to its depot.
“We’re a company that takes things slowly and we want to make sure we get it right at this stage,” Barnett added. “It’s more a case of what we learn from the first one will help us develop the rest.”
Costco has about 350 forecourts in the US and typically charges six to 12 cents per gallon less than local competitors.
This week, the wholesaler posted a 6% increase in total sales to $102.9bn (£54.5bn) for the year to 1 September. Profits jumped from $1.71bn to $2.04bn following a $62m tax benefit during the year.
Meanwhile, the RAC has predicted that UK petrol prices will dip to the lowest level since 2011 over the coming weeks, on the back of falling wholesale prices.