Costco to open a store a year in rapid Aussie expansion

Costco store at Epping in Melbourne will open later this year. Picture: ADCO.

US discount giant Costco has vowed to open at least one new store in Australia every year as it eyes a bigger slice of the retail market.

The big-box chain is increasingly looking for sites large enough to house its burgeoning petrol business alongside its enormous warehouses.

Costco already operates nine stores around Australia, with two more to open this year.

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Coscto managing director Patrick Noone tells realcommercial.com.au: “We have been well received in the Australian market, and hope to continue to expand Costco’s reach to more people throughout Australia.”

“Our focus is always to find the right location to meet our specifications so that we can ensure every warehouse is as comprehensively stocked, offering a wide range of products and services of the best quality at the best possible price,’’ Noone says.

Australia’s newest Costco warehouses are currently under development.

The store at Epping in Melbourne’s rapidly expanding north is tipped to create 250 full-time jobs in a $40 million project in conjunction with Pacific Epping Shopping Centre.

Costco Melbourne

Costco’s store at Docklands in Melbourne.

Costco’s second Queensland store is being built in the Ipswich suburb of Bundamba on a 6.5ha site in Walker Corp’s $1 billion Citiswich development.

“We hope to have both of these open before the end of the year, and aim to open at least one new warehouse every year there after,’’ Noone says.

Asked what Costco’s property scouts looked for when scouring the country for potential locations, Noone explains: “Our warehouses are quite sizeable in order to be able to house our comprehensive range of goods and specialty department services.”

“A typical warehouse is about 14,000 square metres,’’ he says.
“We also look for lots that can house our fuel stations and sizeable car parks as well.”

Costco — which operates almost 750 warehouses worldwide and posts annual revenues of $126.2 billion — has quickly won favour among Aussie shoppers for its value and huge – and sometimes unusual – stock range.

Its landmark Docklands store in Melbourne recently began bulk order delivery for business customers within a 10km radius of the warehouse in another move to combat rivals.

There are more than 91.5 million Costco cardholders worldwide.