Costco Sets Sights On Iceland

Costco Sets Sights On Iceland

Published July 2, 2014

Main photo by
Nicholas Eckhart

The popular US wholesale chain store Costco has expressed an interest in opening up shop in Iceland, and are now hoping to get official approval.

Two places for the store are currently on the table, RÚV reports: Kauptún in Garðabær and Korputorg, in northeast Reykjavík.

“I would find it mostly a good thing to get the store in Iceland, where we could see the lowering of all-to-high prices,” Garðabær mayor Gunnar Einarsson told reporters. “And of course, it would be a plus if it came to Garðabær.”

Costco not only plans on opening stores selling the kind of heavily discounted mix of bulk products they are famous for – they also want to build several “fueling stations”, which would provide drivers with gas, electricity and methane for different vehicles.

While the city of Reykjavík is waiting for more details from Costco on their plans, the City Council Planning Committee has approved the Korputorg location.

“We think there are a competitive number of gas stations in the capital area,” said Planning Committee chairperson Hjálmar Sveinsson to reporters. “So we’re giving ourselves a little time to get better information on what a fueling station is.”

For these plans to come to fruition, however, Costco needs to get official government approval. Many of the products Costco can sell in the US would be difficult or possibly restricted from import to Iceland, such as fresh meat and certain medications.

Minister of Industry and Commerce Ragnheiður Elín Árnadóttir has met with Costco representatives on several occasions. While she said she could not comment specifically on the matter, as it is on the table of several ministries, she said she believes competition would bring “lower prices, which is my hope anyway, and not least of all increase the number of choices of products.”

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