1, 2, 3, go! Costco in Champaign is open for business and it is all we hoped it would be
Get the first look at some of the things offered inside Costco on opening day in Champaign-Urbana
After months and months of anticipation, the store many of you have been waiting for (hoping for!) is here in Champaign-Urbana at last. We’ve covered a lot of Costco topics already in our Costco series but we’re here today to give you your first peek into C-U’s newest store, which opened Oct. 22.
Read the Chambanamoms.com Costco series:
- 9 Things to Know Before Your First Trip to Costco
- 8 Ways You’ll Save Money at Costco
- 10 Things You Can Buy at Costco That You Can’t Buy at Sam’s Club
- Costco in Champaign: Here’s What to Know about Getting a Membership
You can also visit Costco’s website here.
As we expected, the layout looked similar to other Costco locations we’ve walked through before. However, everything is NEW of course and very well-designed. We were thrilled to see that self-checkout lanes were a thing here (we were not expecting that!) and that was the case at the food court as well. So order your food at the kiosk and walk up to get it when it’s ready. Super simple. And yes, at 8 a.m. people were in fact purchasing their chicken bakes and hot dogs. A special breakfast for opening day, perhaps!
Advent calendars, gingerbread houses and more
The super exciting thing about a store opening in late October is that all the holiday stuff was out in full force. And gosh, did we find tons of things we were excited about! If any of these are on your “wish list,” we’d definitely recommend heading to Costco to get them as the Advent calendar items can be hard to find as we approach the Christmas holiday season (particularly the wine Advent calendar, as we saw people buying a couple at a time).
Below, from left to right: The famous Costco wine Advent calendars, 24 half bottles for $99; a gingerbread “mansion” kit that looked quite fun; the Advent calendar for dogs, featuring a combo of treats and toys for 24 days of festive furry fun.
Pallets and pallets of canned pumpkin
Our readers on Facebook were looking for canned pumpkin recently and we were thrilled to see a six-can box of organic-packed pumpkin for $7.49. YES! Search high and low no more, Champaign-Urbana.
Surprise! A local gift card option
Costco is known for its deep discount deals on gift cards and we couldn’t believe our eyes when we saw a local Champaign-Urbana establishment featured on the gift card kiosk. Two $50 gift cards to Hamilton Walker’s for just $79.99! We don’t know if this will be a permanent thing or if it is part of the holiday shopping features they have, but this is a steal of a deal.
Bears, bears, bears
If you’ve ever seen someone post a giant 10-foot stuffed bear in their playroom, odds are good it came from Costco. The bear display was full when the doors opened and 11 minutes past opening, the Costco employees were already stocking the shelves for more. These big fluff balls will set you back $179 and, well, that’s a whole lot of Costco rotisserie chicken!
Instant savings all over the store
How many of these are specific to Champaign and how many are just Costco’s current instant savings deals, we don’t know. But one of those meat and cheese trays we found last month in Peoria was marked down 30 percent on opening day today. That’s a whole lot of charcuterie for dinner for a low price.
There were tons of rotisserie chickens lined up just ready to make their way home first thing in the morning. Something that jumped out was a hefty selection of cooked St. Louis style ribs next to the rotisserie chickens, also all cooked and ready to be enjoyed. They looked awesome.
What we did not find
On a quest for the elusive hot chocolate bombs we’ve heard about, they didn’t have any in stock at opening today. We’ll be sure to check back on our future Costco trips and let you know if they come in.
There are so many things we love about Costco and the Champaign store did not disappoint. Everyone was so friendly and helpful and they have done a beautiful job setting up the store. Masks are strictly required and we saw 100 percent compliance among all the customers there at opening. The checkouts have a large plexiglass shield installed to separate you from the cashier and you just swing your cart over to their side and they take care of checking you out. They seem to have all the COVID-19 precautions in place and it felt to be a very positive shopping experience. Go check it out for yourself and let us know what you find!