Costco has had a bumper two days this week with the US-based big box retailer opening two new warehouse locations on the Eastern Seaboard in as many days. Beginning with a new shopfront in Ringwood, officially opened yesterday, the retailer also unwrapped a new store in the Crossroads Homemaker Centre in Casula in Sydney’s western suburbs today.
The two new warehouses mark secondary locations for both New South Wales and Victoria, bringing the total Costco store count to five (including Canberra’s Majura Park location). The club-based retail company also recently confirmed a new site was in the works in North Lakes, in Brisbane.
Both new stores opened their doors at 8am this week, enticing consumers with the offer of a free pack of 18 Fresh Laid Eggs to opening day visitors and $180 worth of coupons to be used in-store.
In a teaser sent out to pre-registered customers, Costco last week promised that the Crossroads warehouse was “now fully staffed and stocked full of brand name items at great value, waiting for our members to come and shop”.
Costco Australia country manager Patrick Noone told the Macquarie Radio Network the simple concept behind Costco’s construction and operation allowed it to open new stores relatively quickly, and to find favour with consumers.
“We’re a very simple construction,” said Noone. “We’re a big box with concrete floors, open frame ceiling and lights and just full of merchandise, so it’s a fairly quick construction.
“Certainly we’ve had a very, very good reception in Australia, and I think we’ve provided a pretty good competitive retail environment where people can come and shop and find different and exciting items.
“Back in 1976, we started up very similar to a Campbell’s Cash and Carry and over the years we’ve morphed into a retail-wholesale business. And we pride ourselves that we only have one price, and that’s the wholesale price, and everybody can buy that price.”
Compared with Costco’s profitable businesses in Asia and its US homeland, Noone said the Australian warehouses were faring well.
“We certainly have a very good volume business,” he said. “Auburn, Sydney and Melbourne are probably in the top 20 volume buildings [in the Costco business] in the world, so they’re very good volume buildings.”