Retailer Costco opens its first warehouse in New Zealand

Costco, which currently has 13 megastores in Australia, has opened its first warehouse in New Zealand. Picture: Getty
Costco, which currently has 13 megastores in Australia, has opened its first warehouse in New Zealand. Picture: Getty

Costco has opened its first warehouse in New Zealand, with the big box retailer planning to further expand its presence there and in Australia.

Some eager shoppers camped out overnight or queued early to be first through the doors when the membership-only retailer’s $NZ100 million ($A87 million) store in Auckland opened on Wednesday.

The 14,000sqm warehouse at Westgate in Auckland’s north west includes a fuel station, tyre centre, pharmacy, optical department, hearing aid centre and a food court, and has more than 800 car parking spaces. The petrol station, which is also only for members, opened in April.

Costco Warehouse Australia and New Zealand managing director Patrick Noone said other Kiwi megastores may be opened down the track.

“The response we’ve got here today gives us a lot of heart to look at other locations,” Mr Noone told NZ radio station Newstalk ZB.

“Christchurch and Wellington are both two obvious cities for us; perhaps another one in Auckland in the future as well.”

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern meets with staff during a visit to the Costco warehouse in Auckland.

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern visited the new Costco store in Auckland last month. Picture: Getty

In a recent interview with, Mr Noone said the Auckland store will likely be the first of several Costcos in New Zealand.

He said Costco was also looking at places like Christchurch and Wellington, putting the timeframe for further New Zealand warehouses at the next three to five years.

Costco, one of the world’s largest retailers, also plans to open more warehouses in Australia.

It currently has 13 Australian warehouses, with four in Victoria, four in New South Wales, two in Queensland and one store in each of Adelaide, Perth and Canberra. The first Australian store opened in Melbourne’s Docklands precinct in 2009.

Mr Noone said Costco may lift its number of Australian warehouses to 20 over the next five years.

The Costco warehouse in Adelaide, with rows of trolleys outside

Membership-only retailer Costco has a number of hotspots around Australia where it wants to find sites for new warehouses. Picture: Supplied by Costco

He said the retailer has several hotspot locations where it is keen to find sites for new stores, including Hobart, north Sydney, south Sydney, Wollongong, north Perth, south Adelaide and Geelong.

“Those are kind of the hotspots that we’re trawling through all the time looking for good sites,” Mr Noone told in July.

“So it’s lots of expansion. It gives us up to 20 buildings in the next five years.”

Costco’s 14th Australian warehouse and second in Perth is due to open in November in Casuarina.

Construction started in late June on its 15th Australian warehouse and third in Queensland, on a site adjacent to the Westfield Coomera shopping centre on the Gold Coast.

Costco also recently purchased a property in Ardeer in Melbourne’s western suburbs as the site for a new $62 million warehouse.

Costco has a bulk-buying offering, operating no-frills warehouses with stock stacked on pallets and larger pack sizes.

Toys and sporting goods stacked on pallets in Costco's first New Zealand store.

Costco has no-frills warehouses with stock stacked on pallets and larger pack sizes. Picture: Getty

Its wide range of merchandise includes groceries, housewares, appliances, clothing, designer handbags, jewellery, watches, sporting goods, beauty products and toys.

According to a Costco spokesperson, some of the hottest items in the Auckland store were the hot dog and refillable soda combo in the food court and its rotisserie chickens.

The opening of the first New Zealand store takes Costco to 839 warehouses around the world, with most located in the United States and Canada.

Costco Wholesale Corporation last week said it plans to open 25 new warehouses globally over its current financial year to the end of August 2023, including the Auckland store and its first site in Sweden.