Costco Wholesale has opened its 24th warehouse in the UK.

Located in Southampton, the 140,000 sq ft warehouse features 3,600 lines as well as an in-house bakery, service deli and cafe. The new depot, which was formerly a BAT cigarette manufacturing factory, will also stock the Kirkland own label range.

Costco’s UK managing director Steve Pappas said the warehouse had “been a long time coming”.

“It was a long planning process but Southampton is one of the major cities which we have wanted to open a store in since we first came to the UK in 1993. It’s very exciting for us and it should be good for the community,” he added.

The Costco wholesale club model was first introduced to the UK in 1993. Costco ceo Craig Jelinek explained the popularity of the club which has 626 warehouses worldwide and over 67.4 million cardholders.

“The company’s growth has been stimulated by the overwhelming acceptance of the warehouse club merchandising concept, which Costco pioneered,” he said.

Costco has also earmarked a site in Farnborough as the location for its next warehouse, which is set to open this July.