The CEO of property developers APM says it’s a matter of time before retail giant Costco comes to Charlottetown.
But Tim Banks wouldn’t go so far as to say he’ll bring the retailer to the P.E.I. capital.
“I would be surprised if a company as well positioned as Costco wouldn’t be in this market,’’ Banks said Tuesday.
Talk of Costco making the jump across the Confederation Bridge and opening a store in Charlottetown has been going on for years.
Back in April, Costco issued an email to The Guardian saying: “We have checked our upcoming warehouse openings and there are currently no plans for a location in P.E.I.’’
But that same month, another developer said Costco was in fact looking at P.E.I. for a possible expansion.
Since then, The Guardian has been told off the record by businessmen and elected officials that Costco’s interest in Charlottetown is more than just a rumour.
In fact, one politician, who didn’t want to be named, said that Banks said he was personally going to bring the giant retailer to the city in 2014.
Banks, however, wasn’t biting on Tuesday.
“You’ll have to draw your own conclusions because I’m not going to comment,’’ he said.
Plazacorp, the developer that built the new Sobey’s mega-store beside the Charlottetown Mall and is also bringing Toys R Us to town this fall, has already stated repeatedly it won’t be bringing Costco in. That makes sense considering Plazacorp is aligned with Costco rival Sobey’s.
A lot of people don’t believe Charlottetown is a big enough market to support a Costco.
“I disagree,’’ Banks said.
The Costco stores in Moncton, Saint John and Halifax are popular destinations for Island shoppers, as evidenced by a Guardian story in June. The newspaper talked to a number of Islanders shopping at the Halifax location, all of whom said they would love to have their own in Charlottetown.
One woman said she saves $1,500 a year in milk alone by shopping at Costco.
Again, Banks says he believes it’s only a matter of time.
“Anybody could walk into a Costco store in Moncton or Saint John and ask them when they’re going to be in Prince Edward Island and I think the desk will tell you soon,’’ he said.