Costco Finally Opens in Australia (Melbourne) in 17 August 2009

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Updated Feb 2013

Costco Ringwood, Vic (east Melbourne) on Target for July 2013 Opening



Updated  20 August 2009

Wow! – Hard to believe this one story has been going on longer than many folks have been blogging period (since September 2006). I still get comments from folks thinking I work for Costco.

No this is just a blog, and Costco is just something I had missed from the US and more recently the UK, having been in Australia for 6 years.

Enough of that. Costco opened this week and I was there, as were the rest of Australia. Lines were 200 deep at one point just to get in and peek (no buying or purchasing allowed) . For those of us that had our membership already there was only a 15 minute wait to get in the door. It was packed.

So for the nitty-gritty review. I was pretty impressed overall. The Costco experince for most depends on your expectations. For me being in both the US and UK stores I was expecting either, and really got neither (and both).

Part of the ‘ charm’ of Costco is the revolving stock. You can go in one time and then a month later some items will be gone never to be repeated and new ones take their place, and others are there all the time.

For me I had some expectation on the American food supplies.

Some were there (great seafood from Australia and even Russia, and the most amazing scallops from California).  Others were not there and severely missed (Chicago baby back ribs), any American bar-b-q sauce at all, no American carbonated beverages, eg. Rootbeer, etc.

Some I had forgot about form the UK was there – Campo Viejo – Rioja Spanish Wine, Std and Reserve. and a pretty good selection of other wine and spirits at a pretty good price in some cases. Not a huge drinker I left cases of Campo in the uK when I moved here due to the import tax being higher than the cost per bottle, so that made me happy.

For the uninitiated Costco sells everything from Electronics – (TV’s, iPods, computers, blue ray players, ) Appliances, Clothing, Jewlery, Books, Dvds, luggage, food and alcohol,  and have their own Butchery, and Bakery on site. , selling meat, fish, poultry, dairy and fresh fruit and veg.

It is the bulk purchases and large container sizes of some things that are not that easy to find elsewhere, and Pampers seemed to be flying out the place as well.

Overall giving the US and UK a 10/10 I give Australia an 8 with a hope some more USA type lines are added.
Other lines were a bit thin, but I have seen that at new Costco’s before.

I was told a head of time the seafood selection would be better than the UK and USA and I have to agree it is.

Finally the big one pricing – A mixed bag really, I found nothing expensive but many items are the same price on the high street.  A big deal on the electronics side of things where competition is fiercer in Australia that I would say the USA or the UK.

My favorite with Costco, there are always a few hidden gems in electronics a TV or iPod they have cheaper than anyone, and I did notice a couple of these, like a Samsung 50” HD TV 1080P, for $2200, and its baby sister the 50” 780 for $1600. Both cracking sets (I have the 780), and I was tempted on the 1080P, but I am a big fan of Samsung everything (and I work for a competitor…. Shhh)

So the overall selection makes it a very worth Mecca of shopping and one that competitors will have some sleepless nights over as many were there when I was , comparing their products to Costco’s.

Updated- June 2009

 For Expat Americans and English (or both as I am) that have been blessed before moving to Melbourne Australia to having a Costco on our doorsteps and miss it, the wait is on almost over

 Well met some of the new management team  from Costco, Melbourne food and wine show and they seem lie a nice bunch. THe new merchandising manager is from Canada and gave an inisght to what to expect.

Larger freezer section than you would expect in the North America or UK Stores.
Due to some issues on importation of fruit and veg to Australia there will not be as much US produce as I had hoped. (Ths is making COles VERY nervours.

Kirkland Products a global brand for food stuffs offering everything from cookies to paper towels will be a big brand

They have also launched their website and are taking memberships online. I got mine yesterday.

My favorites the baby back ribs are not likely to make an appearance due t how well they travel unfortunately


Updated – 16 March 2009



Hard to believe I have been tracking this for almost 3 years now !


Now slotted for mid-late 2009 ,
As you folks know (and can tell from the date trail), I have been following this for some time.  If anyone has been past the Docklands area in Melbourne recently (below the expensively broken wheel in the sky). The boards are now up for Costco, and hiring has started. The store is costing $(AUD) 60m and a Sydney store is also in the works. For those have nto drank the Costco Kool-Aid you are in for a shopping treat. Costco charges an annual membership fee of $USD 50 (likely to be $AU60). If you combine the size and sort of selling mentality of a Bunning’s Warehouse (lower profit margin but higher volumes) but selling everything from food and wine, to furniture, to electronics, cameras and computers, then Costco is the place. What I find most interesting is the product mix Costco Australia will have. Will there be more American food selection (let’s hope). In Australia some electronics are very cheap compared to the UK or even the US, will that mean even lower pricing (as well as selection) at Costco ? With inventory valued at around $10m (AUD), this will be no easy task, but I cannot wait to find out.


Updated 21 June 2008

Well with the site in Melbourne Docklands now confirmed in the shadow of the new $40m Southern Star Observation Wheel two words come to mind… Hurry Up… It seems like forever I have been picking up on the story with what were early rumors. For me I miss most was the ‘Chicago’ baby back ribs, that were pretty darn good.

It will be approximately 13,000 square metres with around 553 car spaces and will operate seven days a week. Construction is scheduled to commence in September 2008 and is due for completion at the end of 2009.

What about you?


Updated 27 December 2007
Looks like it is getting closer.
Updated 18 October 2007 – Had some emails burining hot to me today that in the Q4 report, out recently the CIO mentioned that Australia was being seriously considered.

Updated 9 August 2007- I had a word with the CEO of Costco USA (long story how). He was coy about Australia but reading between the lines, suffice to say but there are no immiedate plans for a move here, but they remain interested in the Australian market.

Updated 25 Feb 2007
Well word is spreading, it looks like Docklands near the Melbourne CBD is the 1st Costco in Australia. place but Costco still refuses to confirm, but the opening date is looking like 2009. The latest story has it sharing a site with Ikea that is known to be hunting another Melbourne site as well.

If you love Costco and want them in Australia why not email the chief of online marketing Rob Walters at

More on the Q4 Report


  1. Patrick Noone, was incharge of Western Canada, An Aussie who has lived in Canada for 20 years and married to a Canadian. Don’t know anything more.

  2. Do you have anything similar to Costco in the Adelaide area? I am coming over in March and doing a BBQ for 60-100 and looking for a spot similar to Costco to get my supplies.

  3. I used to live in Atlanta for abt 5 years and I have moved to Melbourne. I used to love shopping in CostCo which I miss very much in Melbourne. Th plan was to have CostCo in Australia by end of this year 2006. Wondering where we stand now on this???

  4. I work currently 8-9 months of the year here in the UK but my home and family is backin Perth WA. One of the things that make working in this country bearable are the Supermarkets and in particular COSTCO the great American store that offers a true democracy of choice .Don’t believe me? Try sourcing the quality of any of their products for sale here in Leeds UK back home in WA and you’d trying in vain.When oh when will the the Amercan colossus set up store in Australia and in specifically Perth my home of 1.2million.
    Kirland Foods[the inhouse food producer-what Applepies!] are world class.Australia is 50 years behind am ashamed to say.

  5. Please, please let us know soon when Costco arrives. I’ve relocated to Sydney from Chicago and deeply miss my Costco.

  6. Please please have Costco in Sydney moving to Australia in December from the UK, and we as a family are constantly in Costco getting our household goodies ect.., I’m sure Australians would love it too

  7. Although there have been talks for Costco to come to Australia for some time, there is no sure date and it is by no means confirmed. I personally would love to see some American retail in Australia, especially Costco, Walmart and Bestbuy. Unfortunately nothing is for sure yet.

  8. Rumour has it Costco has secured 3 locations and is in the process of securing 2 more. Looks like they want to open up 5 locations at once to hit the market with a bang. They did the same thing when entering the Detroit Michagan market several years ago and opened all 5 warehouses in this new market on the same day. I would look for this to occur in the Sydney area first.

  9. I used to work for a industrial real estate a couple of month ago and the the lastest that now… was that they were going to put one near sydney airport.

  10. We moved here from Ojai, California and miss Costco so much. Australians would love it AND the real Target, as well as Wal-Mart. My husband was at Costco in Canada last month and was told they are opening 4 stores in Australia soon. The source wouldn’t divulge locations though.

  11. I have 200 family members in USA ,all of them shop in cosco,last year we went to USA we were living in cosco,because we love it.PLS open soon in Melbourne.and l will make sure all of my friends shop at cosco.

  12. Watched Perth Channel 7 current affair programme today and Costco will open their store in Perth by June 2008. The location is not announced yet.

  13. After 10 years in the San Francisco bay area – leaving without a Costco in Melbourne takes a huge adjustment. There isn’t anything even remotely close to costco from price / selection / return policy perspective.


  14. I have been to many Costco stores and am looking forward to them opening in Sydney. My whole family love the hotdogs and chicken bakes. They will be lining up to become members. My wife lives in Hawaii and we go to Costco every chance we get. Great bargains.

  15. I’ve been a member of both Costco and its merger partner Price Company since they came to Northern California, and my kids grew up on Costco’s edibles.

    A few years ago my son and his growing family moved the MEL and have dearly missed Costco. I immediately urged Costco’s intl division to set up shop in AU and at long last it seems to be coming to fruition. Coles, Safeway and others in your category: beware, the Yanks are coming! Make that the Good Yanks.

  16. It’s about time the major players here had some serious competition. As consumers, we know what we need – Costco in Melbourne as well as 2 or 3 other cities!

    Costco made a huge difference to our family in Tokyo and Houston. I’ll be glad to get our membership going again!

  17. Please, Please come to Perth….SOON !

    My sister lives in San Diego and we visit frequently…each and every time with several trips to Costco. Although when she returns home to Perth for a visit we don’t do any shopping as we have NO COSTCO !!…

    Also for the benefit of my NY friend whom now lives in Perth…

    Costco, We need you !!!

  18. My husband and I have lived in the US for 18-years and moved back to Melbourne in 2007. We are great Costco fans and believe that Australia desperately needs some competition! We are currently visiting the US and have visited two Costco stroes – Issaquah, WA and Portland OR. Both have confirmed that Costco is due to open in Melbourne (Docklands we believe) either at the end of 2008 or early 2009. We met a couple of guys from the Issaquah division who are going to Melbourne to help out with setting up the first Aussie Costco. We can’t wait!!!

  19. Am moving to Melbourne and heard that Costco is opening in the Docklands. Have been to the supermarkets there and life would not be the same without my Costco. So much potential in Oz.
    Is this for definite ? Cant wait to hear !
    Now we need a Victorias Secret and Best Buy and, and, and, and !!!!

  20. Seriously Love the news of COSTCO IN DOCKLANDS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I WORK FOR THE NAB IN THE DOCKLANDS AND I AM AN AMERICAN WHO WAS A DIE HARD SHOPPER OF COSTCO, BJ’S WHOLESALE CLUB AND SAMS CLUB IN BOSTON…and yes when I moved to Melbourne in 2004 I have thoroughly missed the bulk buying, insanely cheap prices with even more insane quantity of everything from bottled water, to paper towels to toilet paper to shampoos to cheese to Egg Beaters to CEAREALS AND on and on on…..We were so put off by this that we were planning to go to California just to shop up a storm and ship it to Melbourne…I mean c’mmom …AND IF ANYONE IMPORTANT IS READING: PLEASE OPEN A GAP, VICTORIAS SECRET, WALMART AND BEST BUY AND AN L L BEAN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!



  21. Was so stoked to hear the news. But I think you’ll still be missing out on your ribs … I suspect Costco will be sourcing Australian products for the Australian market, not importing the same product lines that they have in their US stores.

  22. Dear Patrick Noone,
    I wish to discuss “Site Acquisitions” for Costco in the Australian Capital Territory, New South Wales and in Queensland.
    Impact Real Estate is my new company although I have been actively involved in the Real Estate industry since 1992.
    My intention is to operate a mobile office where I can move around into Costco’s preferred locations on the eastern coastline and negotiate with State Government and local councils sourcing suitable sites for your future development.
    Site Acquisitions would no doubt be for (a) Costco Distributiopn Centres
    and (b) Costco Super Stores.
    I look forward to your comments and wish Costco every success in Australia.
    John Davidson

  23. I for one have been tracking this ever since moving from San Diego to Melbourne. Shopping at my local Coles and Safeway only made the longing for the 4 times as large Ralphs, Albertsons, Vons, etc. that much harder. I welcome the news of our new God and look forward to breaking bread with our new Overlords. Hallelujah and Praise Costco!

  24. Great news, love Costco but will it really work here? Everyone rips off Australian consumers so why will Costco be different? All I can hope is they remain true to their word and really bring us real savings! That may also have the added benefit of sparking a bit of real competition between major retailers.

  25. It’s about time costco comes down under, I’m an Australian who has lived in America for the last 7 years. I LOVE COSTCO–AUSTRLIA hasn’t seen anything yet, untill they experience the QUALITY and bargains shopping at Costco..Aussies’s i hope you’re read 🙂

  26. I am a uni student, who is doing a research on Costco’s operation in Australia. I am looking at information such as its expansion plan, its management and transport companies it is going to use. Anyone knows how can I get those information? Or how can I contact Costco Australia? Many thanks.

  27. I am delighted to hear that Costco is coming to town. I lived in the US for nine years. After my arrival in Australia back from the US, I was shocked by grocery prices as well as consumer products generally.

    My weekly trips to Costco when I was in the US was the highlight of my week. Everything was reasonably priced. Two pounds of cherries for $6.99 compared to $20 in Woolworths or Coles. Australian lamb chops much cheaper than in Australia. May be the retailing Mafia in Australia namely Woolworth and Coles will learn a lesson or two from Cosco.

    No wonder Aldi’s is veryy successful in Australia and around the world.

    Good on you Costco. We look forward to seeing you here soon.

  28. Wayne says: “Great news, love Costco but will it really work here? Everyone rips off Australian consumers so why will Costco be different?”

    Why? Because Costco has a MAXIMUM mark up of 14 or 15 percent (with the average much less). This is mandated by their President and CEO and a cornerstone of their business strategy. Costco makes their money on volume rather then mark up of the price. By selling such high volumes, they turn product over at 3 to 4 times the rate of most of their competitors. Often selling the product before having to pay for it so they gain by having the money from sold product in the bank earning interest. In fact, if you take out the membership fees, Costco barely breaks even (just look at their financial statements for the proof). They do all this while having the highest wages and benefit packages in the industry. Costco members around the world trust in Costco NOT to rip them off, why would Costco hurt their outstanding reputation by operating with a different philosophy in Australia??? It doesn’t make sense to….don’t you think?

  29. Well, I am an ex Costco UK member and living in Queensland, I am so, so jealous of the Melbourne members getting a Costco. Oh how I dream of some proper competition amongst the retail giants here. Bring on Next, Marks & Spencer (food), Laura Ashley, Tesco, Sainsbury, & tradesmen who charge what they quote! LOL.

  30. I am a HUGE Costco fan too. I am a member of COSTCO in Canada. Anybody can tell me how to get their final location in Melbourne.

  31. Costco is a fantastic store. Been to Canada many times and shopped in the amazing store. When is the opening and will it be based on the Canadian concept? What and when can we become members?

  32. like to have a costco in central sunshine coast of qld. this area needs top quality products. there is no place here to buy a real apple pie and the italian food is not real. get here asap, gene

  33. Being an Aussie expat who live in Asia I have had the Costco experience. Let me assure you the US$50 joining fee will be saved in you first visit. This will clearly shake up the Woolies & Coles duopoly that we have had to endure for decades

  34. OH my good i cant belive costco is in Australia .Thank good becouse we are tired to shop in coles and safeway.Costco the best place in the would to buy very cheap products simple the best. Ilove costco so much thanks to coming to Melbourne.Thanksssssssssssssssssssss.

  35. I got to fall in love with Costco last August when I was in US and just loved it so much!!! I was just bummed out we didn’t have one here in Australia……we just don’t know what we are missing out on. Can’t wait!!!!!

  36. Oh we are SO ready to show up on opening day. I hope they will take my American membership at least for the opening day. We are ready to shop. A bit far from our house, but heaps closer than the USA.

  37. Hi everyone!
    Can anyone please help me how to apply Costco jobs?
    coz i want to apply it and i don’t know where to go.
    I know Costco coming to Melbourne in 2009. I really want to apply it .
    Plesee help me. Please!!!!
    Thank You.

  38. Costco sound great wholesaler. I saw the ad few weeks ago, they are looking for staff and then I applied the job position. However unsuccessful!

    I went through “3 steps” interview different day! 1 was group of 30 people. 2 was 2 managers interview me. Finally only with director. They are make sure employ right staff to achieve high quality service

  39. Pleased to see COSTCO going into MELBOURNE AUSTRALIA, am an AUSSIE living in Toronto Canada, often in Melbourne, told My Relatives down there all about it, plus have a NIECE looking for a POSITION OF WORK, passed INFO onto Her, lets Hope. Beverley FREYER Rousseau, Toronto Canada.

  40. Australia/Melbourne was well due for a store as Costco. The other large stores have had it too good for too long. They were boring and had luck of inovation and style. I happen to visit costco in phoenix Arizona a month ago. What a delight it was to shop there.
    not to mention the great selection of all items on offer.

    I hope they will open more stores in Australia.

  41. Pleased to see so much Publicity and GOOD FEED BACK in regards to “COSTCO”. When is the Actual Opening in Melbourne?. Thank You. Beverley(Freyer) Rousseau. Toronto CANADA.

  42. I cannot wait please let me know the date Costco opens at the Docklands Melbourne. My husband is Canadian and it is the best shopping experience in Prince George. I love a bargin but also great service and quality. Will North American memberships work in Australia or do we have to buy new ones?
    Diane Bradford

  43. We have been waiting for the opening of Melbourne Costco, as we experience a good buy at Victorville California the goodness of Costco whilst visiting USA. My husband and I are looking forward to the big day opening. we are lodging our membership application next week. Would you have a date of the opening/launch please.

  44. is the store open yet?? can i shop ???

    are the prices for meat great ???

    what about food in general – more like Coles or Aldi in shelf price??

  45. OMG!!! im american and ive been here for 7 yrs though i havent had any proper american food or product in australia yet!!!
    is the store open yet??? will the prices be good??? when can i shop???

  46. I actually went to Costco about 2 weeks ago in Melbourne. I was disappointed there was no Famous Amos (unlike the bulk packets you can get in the US Costco) or even some Hersheys. I even asked only to be disappointed. I think the USA Food Store over near Morabbin should move into Costco. Overall it was pretty good. Heh. I got my membership!

  47. cosco is going to shut down soon…its stupid to have the photo on the membership card and allows 2 guests in..comeon this is a supermarket,u need more guests to shop …i used my friend’s membership card sometimes to enter but now they need a photo id printed on it and that means i cant use it anymore, in other words u have lost this customer..i am not paying $60 for the card cause things r not that cheap,,,dont think this supermarket will last for long mark my got to improve to win more customers to shop and not just getting the $60

    1. I love the ‘costco is going to shut down soon” comment. The Melbourne store had the best opening of ANY store ever, anywhere in the world. Also, Costco is going to focus on opening more stores in Melbourne first. They got SO MANY MEMBERS that they have to do this. Then on to Brisbane (Logan) and Sydney. It will be a couple of years though. I used to work for a bloke who is on the board of several major retailers and he was convinced that “Australians woundn’t go for Costco” Funny how many non australians are in the stores. (kidding) The place is ALWAYS crowded like a USA Costco at Christmas!!! I LOVE IT! Australian retail is still in the dark ages.

  48. Am I able to order items in your store on line and have them picjed up in Melbourne?
    Is there a list of items for sale on the web sir]te?

  49. Hi,
    Readers might be interested in the company that does sell Costco items online and then delivers to anywhere in Melbourne. Great for small or medium sized business or even families who love Costco products but find it too difficult to go in and shop there for supplies every few weeks.

  50. Please let me know the address of COSTCO supermarket in Melbourne.
    Thanks- Paul -Mobile 0429509651

  51. costco has cofirmed a new site in Sydney being in the suburb of Tempe next to the new Ikea site that is getting built.

  52. As i am moving to Brisbane from Sydney, i will miss cosco, in the north of brisbane thee are big land vacant, please Cosco open in Brisbane soon so we can have pleasure to shop there, Cosco come to Brissy soon…

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