Costco opened Wednesday in Little Rock

Costco opened Wednesday in Little Rock (Jeremy Peppas)

The first thing you notice when you walk in the door is the pallet load of PS5s.

For those unfamiliar, a PS5 is the PlayStation 5 video game system that is one of the hottest retail items in the country.

The new Costco in Little Rock has a literal pallet load.

“We’re only one of three [Costcos] in the country that have them,” said assistant general manager Josh Watson on Tuesday morning but he wasn’t sure how long they would last.

The Costco opened Wednesday morning and Watson served as the tour guide for as we walked a lap of the 150,000 square foot warehouse at 16901 Chenal Parkway in west Little Rock.

Photos inside the store weren’t allowed on the tour.

General Manager Tom Zeien said the store, the first in Arkansas for the company, would employ 250 people with 200 being local, new hires. Entry level jobs at the Costco started at $15 to $16 an hour and staffing up wasn’t a problem for the company.

Watson said on the tour that Costco was anticipating a crowd for the grand-opening.

  • For some tips on what to buy at Costco, click here.

“We’re going to have security, and police officers directing traffic,” he said as we walked. “We’re going to have the employees park off site, so customers will be able to park, and we’ve brought in extra help, so we can handle the load.”

Both Zeien and Watson are long-time Costco employees and both previously worked in Arlington, Texas before being transferred to Little Rock.

“We both started out as cart pushers,” Watson said. “That’s something that Costco really values, bringing employees up and promoting them.”

The store will be in the Texas region and those familiar with Costco will recognize the layout with electronics, and all those PS5s, up front, with retail items like clothes in the middle with the bakery and the butcher shop along the back wall, along with produce, beer and wine.

Costco will also sell liquor and spirits, but it will have its own door and retail space not connected to the main shopping floor. Watson noted that Little Rock was the first store in the Texas region to sell Kirkland brand alcohol. Kirkland is the Costco house brand.

You must be a Costco member to shop there, in most cases, and a basic membership is $60 annually, while executive memberships are $120 a year, but both come with store gift cards of, respectively, $20 or $40. 

You can shop at Costco without a membership if you use one of the store’s gift cards though.

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