Is Costco coming to Knoxville?

Is Costco coming to Knoxville?

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By JILL MCNEAL
6 News Anchor/Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - The well-known membership warehouse Costco is closer to coming to Knoxville.

In the past, we've heard speculation about the move and even a grassroots effort to bring the chain to East Tennessee.

Now 6 News has learned Costco is looking at a potential site at the intersection of Lovell Road and Kingston Pike in West Knox County.

A Costco senior vice president says the discount chain has been interested in the Knoxville market for years, but could never find the right site. He can't confirm anything until a deal has been signed, but he says they're getting very close.

"I hope they can open very soon," said Trish Cook, who was a big fan of Costco when she lived in Nashville. 

"I miss Costco. It's just more elegant, I think, and a better variety of more expensive things, and just different organic varieties," she added.

Right now, Cook shops Walmart, Target and Earthfare to get everything she wants. "I would definitely switch to Costco," she said.

She's not the only one ready for another option. In 2008, we reported on the local petition to bring Costco to Knoxville. They even paid for a billboard on Lovell Road.

Steven Wilson drives to Knoxville from Lenoir City for Walmart and Costco rival, Sam's Club.

"Competition is always good," Wilson said.

He's never shopped at a Costco, but he's always looking for a deal. "If they offered some things that would get people through the door, that's probably what would pull us over there," Wilson said.

Although Costco won't confirm it's looking at a specific location, management says ideally they'd love to open a store in Knoxville by the end of the year, or more realistically, the following spring. 

Kyle Touchstone, economic development project manager for the Knoxville Chamber, said, "While I cannot confirm or deny that Costco is looking at the area, it's obvious that they would eventually locate in Knoxville. Knoxville is a growing & thriving community, and Costco only locates in areas like Knoxville. More and more people are looking for quality products at lower costs, which Costco can deliver. When Costco does locate here in Knoxville, we will gladly welcome them to our business community."

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