US discount giant Costco’s first WA warehouse could open in March

Posted: 28th Aug

WA’s first Costco could open as early as next March, with the American retail giant’s construction more than a month ahead of schedule.

Originally slated for May 2020, the discount behemoth is now expected to begin trading in the first quarter of next year.

Costco Australia managing director Patrick Noone credited the early arrival to the building firm.

“The construction by Georgiou is going very quickly, very professionally. We're very pleased with it,” he said.

“Hopefully it will be before Easter next year.”

Costco members pay up to $60 a year to be able to shop at the company’s global warehouses and buy branded goods in bulk at considerable discount prices.

From diamond rings to fresh produce, coffins to electronics and clothing to household items, Costco offers a broad variety of products.

Memberships for Perth customers will be available online from November and at the store four-six weeks before the opening.

Like German supermarket Aldi, the disruptor is set to undermine prices charged by the supermarket duopoly of Coles and Woolworths.

“We're confident that our prices will be as good or better than anything else in the local retail,” Mr Noone said.

“We’re looking at opening and starting negotiations with as many local suppliers as possible. Our buying teams have already been in Perth a couple of times and had some discussions with a large number of suppliers.”

In July, after close to a decade of success on the east coast, the mega chain revealed it had plans for a second WA store in Casuarina - the 14th of its kind in Australia.

“We already have several thousand Perth members that shop at Costco on the east coast, so we know that there's a degree of competition that we can introduce to the market,” Mr Noone said.

“It (the Kwinana store) is in the development application process right now.”

More than triple the size of an average supermarket, the sprawling 14,000sq m building located at the Perth Airport precinct will sit across the road from the Direct Factory Outlet.

The $55 million project has already generated more than 200 construction jobs and will be hiring about 275 locals to staff the discount store.

“We'll have some transfers here (from the eastern states) but for the most part all of our employees will be new hires locally,” Mr Noone said.

Perth Airport chief corporate services officer Debra Blaskett said Costco and DFO were “just the start” and that their presence would transform Perth Airport precinct into a premium retail precinct that was likely to bring jobs, investment and other businesses to the airport.

“There is a demand for precincts like this in Perth. Costco provides a very unique offering. It's complementary to offerings made by shopping centres but again it's quite different as well so there is certainly a demand for Costco in WA,” she said.

Source: The West - https://thewest.com.au/business/retail/us-discount-giant-costcos-first-wa-warehouse-could-open-in-march-ng-b881303016z