JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - The new Costco on Jacksonville's Westside opened for business Thursday morning.
The wholesale store on Parramore Road, off Collins Road and I-295, welcomed thousands of shoppers.
The parking lot quickly filled up as samples, specials and service attracted shoppers, including Mervin Coker, to the second Costco in Jacksonville.
"You can get everything in bulk," Coker said.
The father of three children, with one on the way, was stocking up before mom and new baby come home.
"The newest edition to the family ... That's why I'm at Costco," he said.
Coker had his other children --- Brendan, Bella and Ariel -- with him on the shopping trip, and he brought their grandmother along for much-needed backup.
"It's a handful," she said. "But it's a blessing."
The new Costco near the Clay-Duval county line opened with 130 new employees and expects to add around 800 members during the grand opening.
Costco already had a store open near the St. Johns Town Center on the city's Southside, but the new location also has a gas station. With gas at $2.39 a gallon, the cheapest in that area, many shoppers stopped to fill up on Thursday.
"The traffic was minimal this morning," said Linda Marcuccilli. "The traffic inside there was more congested than out there."
Linda and Ralph Marcuccilli have been Costco members for years. They just moved to the Ponte Vedra Beach area last week from up north.
"He said, 'Woah. Wait. We have to make sure there's a Costco nearby,'" Linda Marcuccilli said, laughing.
They said a second store was needed.
"We visited the other location and it was crazy," she said.
Costco said the new store will help split up some of their 92,000 members from the Southside location. Some of locals have expressed concerns that traffic will be an issue.
But shoppers said the traffic won't keep them from filling up their carts at Costco and it's all about the experience.
"There's a lot of people here to help you," said Coker, who lives on the Westside. "It's a bigger selection."
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