Costco to open first Australian store early, hire 225

Posted by Daniel Palmer on 13th March 2009

Costco has commenced a major campaign to recruit 225 workers for its Docklands store, which is now expected to open five months ahead of schedule.


Costco Australia Manager, Patrick Noone, said the company was “thrilled” to expand into Australia, after recently advising that current economic turbulence had not impacted their Australian plans; believing they can do well in a down market and a booming market due to their low price positioning.

Joining Mr Noone for the announcement today, Victoria’s Industry and Trade Minister, Martin Pakula, inspected construction of the new store, which is likely to open in July.

“This is a great development that will provide the Victorian economy with a significant boost just when it is most needed,” Mr Pakula said. “The opening of the store will not only create jobs but also expand visitor numbers, increase retail expenditure and provide new opportunities for Victorian suppliers.”

The new warehouse store in Docklands Waterfront City will be US-based Costco’s first outlet in Australia, and will operate on a membership model.

The American-based retailer, which sells everything from household appliances to bedding and groceries, still remains coy about the extent of their expansion plans in Australia, although their second store is to be built somewhere in Sydney.

“We still plan to have one site in Melbourne and one in Sydney, and we’re still going full-speed to achieve that,” Mr Noone told Reuters last October.

Costco is the fourth largest retailer in the US with a market capitalisation of about $30b and they currently operate in North America, Asia and the UK. The company is renowned for low prices and selling products not offered by many of their competitors, with a large portion of their revenue coming from the annual membership fee charged to consumers to shop at the store.