By Claire Reilly

SYDNEY, NSW: Costco was out spruiking its new chain of Australian stores at Sydney’s Good Food & Wine Show over the weekend, offering passersby the opportunity to sign up for store membership. The recruitment drive comes just weeks before the Costco Auburn store is set to open its doors on 21 July.

At an exhibitor stand decked out with palettes of mayonnaise and bulk grocery goods, team members were talking to Show-goers about the benefits of membership, and handing out registration forms.

Costco memberships are available to individuals for a $60 yearly fee, whilst businesses can sign on for membership for $55. A membership card is required to enter a Costco store and take advantage of the store's discounted prices.

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In a glossy brochure being handed out to prospective Costco members, Patrick Noone, Costco country  manager, Australia, wrote that it was Costco’s relationship with its members that set the store apart.

“The best part of my job is definitely the partnership I feel with our members,” said Noone. “All over the world, our members trust us to bring them the highest quality products and to stand behind their purchases. I’m committed to growing that partnership here in Australia.

“As an Australian it’s exciting to be leading a great team that is introducing Costco Wholesale to Sydney and Canberra retail markets. We think you’ll love the prices and convenience while shopping for the name-brand products you already know and trust.”

The Auburn store will join the Melbourne Docklands warehouse that opened in August 2009, as well as a shopfront that is set to open at Canberra Airport on 22 July.

Costco has 582 branches worldwide, each operating on the same membership system. Speaking to, Patrick Noone said that since opening in Melbourne, Costco had over 100,000 Australian members.

For the full story on Costco’s expansion in Australia, turn to the July issue of Appliance Retailer magazine.