Costco spends big in Australia

Posted by James Ferre on 26th October 2009

American-based retailer Costco has poured another $25 million into their Australian operations to go with over $80 million spent last year, according to accounts obtained by The Age.

The company opened their first Australian store in Melbourne during August amid great fanfare, with crowds upon opening more akin to a launch of a new Apple store or gadget than a wholesale outlet.

The latest financial report, provided to the Australian Securities and Investments Commission, highlights a $2.36 million loss as well as additional funding of $25 million to build the business in Australia.

Patrick Noone, Managing Director of Costco Australia, told Business Day that there was strong buying of a wide range of products at their stores from from toilet paper and food to $10,000 diamonds and clothes. However, definitive sales figures are yet to be seen, with the December quarter to be their first full quarter of operation in Australia.

Following the successful launch of the Melbourne store, the company is expected to open an outlet in Sydney next year that is likely to cost more than $55 million.

The company’s Australian growth will be tempered by a lack of suitable sites but Mr Noone has previously said that if the Melbourne and Sydney stores are well received by shoppers then they will look to pick up the pace of expansion and open more outlets across Australia “soon after”.