Here are some more metrics. It's the second-largest retailer in the U.S. (The first is Walmart.) "But," interjects Dolgas, "Costco is consistently the number-one-rated retailer by Consumer Reports!" Costco is the seventh-largest retailer in the world. There are 435 Costco warehouses in the U.S., and it took Ann Arbor a surprisingly long time to get one. The problem seems to be that while everyone wants a Costco in their area, no one wants one in their backyard. This one was in the works for a few years, as Pittsfield Township hammered out the zoning issues. Before that, Costco had its eye on a Scio Township site and withdrew graciously when neighboring businesses mounted a counteroffensive.
A lot of retail watchers are speculating about the changes Costco will bring to the local commercial ecosystem. Dolgas is quite frank about what Costco itself worries about: Sam's Club and Meijer. He says that's why Costco's AmEx credit card will give you 3 percent back on gas at any gas station except Meijer and Sam's Club.
Though you can't shop at Costco without a membership, Dolgas clarifies that you're welcome to go in and look around.