By Patrick Avenell
SYDNEY, NSW: Costco Australia is set to open up to six new stores in the next three years, if directions from the company’s head office are acted on.
Costco has been looking to increase its presence in Australia since its successful launch of a store in the Docklands precinct in Melbourne. That store gained headlines for being the first large-format store in the country to charge a membership fee and for its drastically reduced prices.
Although Costco Australia’s head office is located in Sydney, it has been unable to open any stores in its home city. This has been largely attributed to a lack of acceptable sites, with a planned store at Auburn the only confirmed site.
At corporate level, Costco’s CFO, Richard A Galanti was quoted this week in IGD as saying, “We are ramping up some of our international [presence] a little bit.
“Our success in Asia is an example and Australia, recognizing we have one unit for a few months there, but ramping up doesn’t mean we are going to go from one in Australia to ten in two years.
“It means instead of doing three in three years total we will do hopefully five or six.”
Despite popularity from consumers, Costco has also received criticism from other retailers for its deflated prices. Last year, JB Hi-Fi CEO applauded leading suppliers Panasonic and LG for choosing not to provide product to Costco. This came after Current.com.au’s investigation into Costco’s remarkably low pricing, with some new release TV listed at $1,000 below the RRP.
Current.com.au’s calls to Costco Australia managing director Patrick Noone were not immediately returned.