CHEAP cash and carry warehouse Costco has launched plans to open their latest branch in Gloucester.
The former Interbrew site in Eastern Avenue could be transformed into the membership-only retailer as part of plans submitted to Gloucester City Council.
The American firm sells cheap goods in bulk, aiming them at large families and small businesses.
They sell anything from food and wine to furniture and electricals and jewellery and toys.
Cash and carry user Justin Hudson, owner of Butlers bar in Eastgate Street, said: "I used Bookers Wholesale at Barnwood and they have been great for us for food stuff and cleaning equipment but I suppose competition is always healthy. There is definitely a need for this sort of thing."
The 13,025 sq m site would boast 700 parking spaces and a restaurant.
If the plans are approved it would be a remarkable turnaround for a site which closed down earlier this year under the brand of drinks trade firm AB InBev.
The site once employed hundreds of workers under the Whitbread brand, but it became Interbrew in 2000 and later, in 2008, AB InBev – while staffing dwindled from 400 in its prime to just 15 in its last few days of operation.
Phil Staddon, of PJS Development Solutions, which is the agent for applicant Javelin Properties Ltd, said: "We see it as a continuation of the regeneration around the Metz Way area.
"There has already been some major changes there with the new Morrisons on the Railway Triangle. This site where Interbrew was is tired and in need of regenerating.
"This is not a shop in the conventional sense – it would be a cash and carry for small to medium sized businesses. It would be a huge benefit for independent businesses in Gloucester."
Paul James, leader of Gloucester City Council, said: "The planning committee will have to look closely at the detail, but this is potentially an exciting scheme.
"It will improve a key gateway into the city. The committee will need to be confident that there will be no impact on the city centre, but it looks on the face of it to be a complementary offer."
The proposal is likely to go before the planning committee in January.