From the Buffalo News:

Costco has garnered a passionate following around the world for its upscale shopping experience, discount prices, high-quality goods, ever-changing inventory and pleasant customer service. It?s the kind of place shoppers can find everything from cold cuts to televisions to a Cartier diamond watch, at discount warehouse prices.

The company has been looking at potential sites in the Buffalo Niagara area, real estate sources said, though a decision is not expected anytime soon. And it was reported this week that Costco is building a store in the Rochester area. The store is considered more upscale than Sam?s Club and BJ?s, offering a better overall shopping experience.

Costco is known to offer many product samples and product demonstrations throughout the store, and it has a liberal return policy.

Costco?s customer service is also routinely singled out for excellence. Costco?s employees earn an average of $17 per hour and have employer-paid health insurance, so turnover is low, and service is friendly and efficient.

Local real estate sources said Costco Wholesale has looked at a range of sites in the suburbs, from Tonawanda and Amherst to Cheektowaga. The retailer is working with Northwest Atlantic Realty, sources said.

The sites include the former BJ?s Warehouse site on Young Street in Tonawanda; the former Wegmans and other sites on Walden Avenue near the Thruway Plaza between Union Road and the Thruway; two sites on Transit Road, near Wehrle Drive and near Klein Road; and a site on Millersport Highway. Ellicott Development Co. has pitched a couple of properties as well, sources say.

But the company doesn?t appear close to a decision.