Guest Post: G’Day from Australia!

October 8th, 2009 · 13 Comments

[This guest post gives us all a little update on how the new Melbourne location is doing from TJ in Brisbane.  He’s also interested in seeing a some reviews from his fellow Australians.  So, add yours to the comments or send me your own Guest Post (see the Guest Post page).]

G’Day from Australia!

I thought I would just write a quick note……

Australia’s first Costco store in Melbourne is going great! I have heard from an inside source that the store is turning over $1 million dollars daily.

Costco Australia is so happy they are taking several steps: (1) Hurrying things along with both the Sydney and Brisbane stores so they will be opening earlier than planned; (2) Looking at opening a 2nd store in Melbourne.

It would be great to receive some more reviews from people in Melbourne since the store has opened and get some of the latest updates. I would also be interested to know if they are bringing in the Kirkland Signature Xmas range of products including the waterglobes / snowglobes.

Thanks a bunch!
TJ, Brisbane


Tags: General · Guest Posts · Holidays Share

13 Responses so far ↓

  1. 1 Eric // 2009.10.23 at 12:27 am

    In a Costco today magazine (magazine for employees) they listed a potential of 15 warehouses could be built in Australia.. this was back in the july issue, so Costco will be opening more there you can bet on it 🙂

  2. 2 David // 2009.10.21 at 9:17 am

    Glad to see that Costco in Melbourne seems to be doing well. I hope they are doing $1m a day and taking a lot of business away from the truly awful Coles and Woolworths. I hope they open some warehouses in more convenient locations out in the suburbs and it would be great to see more American products.

  3. 3 Jacob // 2009.10.20 at 12:39 am

    Why would Eric be using the NZD for Australia? Australia uses the Australian Dollar i.e AUD…
    Anyway $860,000 AUD doesn’t seem out of range. The Costco store is HUGE in comparison to other store in Australia and they supply groceries, technology, jewelery all under one roof which is a first for Australia. You can’t really compare USA store earnings with the Melbourne Costco because there’s not much of a choice where to shop at for groceries etc… here in Australia and because of the large variety of goods including grocery that the Costco store offers. I’ve heard of a local Safeway store (now woolworths…not associated with the chain in UK/USA) in suburban Victoria turning over close to $1,000,000 per week. Yes it is per week but you have to take into account they only sell groceries and what you’d normally find at a supermarket and the fact that (a) population density is nowhere near as much as it is in Melbourne and (b) The store is probably about 1/6 the size of the Costco in Melbourne.

    • 4 Kimberly // 2009.10.20 at 7:54 am

      Jacob, sorry, you’re so right. Whoops…I have been planning a trip to New Zealand and just had it on my mind, I guess. So, $1,000,000 USD converted is $920,620 AUD per day or $336,026,300 per year.

      And I do agree with you, Jacob, that it is probably not a fair or direct comparison because of the different shopping climate. In the US you have many choices for buying the items sold at Costco, but in other countries I know that is definitely not the case. And from everything I’ve read about the Australian market indicates that this was always going to be a very big deal because there’s next to no competition, or variety, there.

      Sorry again for the error. I guess this is why I shouldn’t respond to anything involving numbers early in the morning. Sorry for the goofiness, everyone.

  4. 5 Kimberly // 2009.10.18 at 9:42 am

    Well, if he was talking $1MM NZD that would only be $741,540 USD. Which would put the yearly sales for that store at $270,662,100 NZD or $200,706,774 USD. While this is still considerably more than the average per store that David’s comment notes ($150,000,000), it could be possible that they are just having a bump in sales because the store is new and new to an area that has never had a Costco before. The numbers that Eric quotes in his comment fit with the converted currency amounts that I’m using too. From what I’ve read, people are traveling from well outside the Melbourne area to go to this Costco since it is the *only one* in Australia at this point. I’m sure it is like any new place, you get a bump in sales initially because everyone wants to try it out and then that settles down to an amount that is more sustainable over the long term.

    In my opinion, I don’t think that the number of stores in the US vs the size of the US population is a valid figure to use for the population size that Costco tries to cover with their stores. For one thing, Costco is constantly trying to build new US locations; obviously they don’t feel that they are at saturation with the current number of stores. From comments that I’ve seen from people on my blog, and that people have emailed to me, I can fully believe that Costco will eventually open a second location in Melbourne because the current location is not as close to the suburbs as a lot of their shoppers would like since that is where they actually live. If we were to use David’s figure of a Costco per every 400,000 people, then Melbourne could support 10 Costco locations with their 2009 population of 4,000,000. All of Australia has a population of 21 million, so they can support quite a large number of Costco locations. Since the density is centered around the cities, they’ll end up having more than 1 Costco location per large city. That’s if Costco continues to be as popular there as it appears to be in Melbourne.

  5. 6 David // 2009.10.18 at 8:10 am

    there is no way the Costco in Melbourne is taking in $1 million a day as the average Costco brings in $150,000,000 a year and $1 Million a day would be well over twice the average which is extremely unlikely.
    As for the number of stores melbourne could support, there is one Costco for about every 400,000 people in North America. Canada has the most Costco stores per capita out of all the countries it operates in. 77 stores in Canada which has a population of 34,000,000.

  6. 7 Eric // 2009.10.15 at 10:41 pm

    sorry the 30,000 member sign up(opening day)number was incorrect, it was 20,ooo+

  7. 8 Eric // 2009.10.14 at 11:28 pm

    Opening day sign ups were over 30,000 (wow). opening day sales were in the $800,000 this is converted to us currency which I had not taken in to account, I have not seen it in a top ten warehouse sales daily sheet as of yet though, but this warehouse is performing ahead of expectations!!!!

  8. 9 Kimberly // 2009.10.14 at 1:17 pm

    I tried looking for sales figures for the store in Melbourne, but I really haven’t had any luck. But thanks, Eric, for your input and insight.

  9. 10 Dave // 2009.10.11 at 4:58 pm

    I can say that I’ve never been to a Costco in the U.S. that charged for parking, but then I’ve never been to one that was in an urban area. The ones I’ve been to are all in suburban areas, or along large big-box type areas where land probably wasn’t that expensive to acquire.

  10. 11 Jacob // 2009.10.11 at 6:02 am

    Hi there! I’ve been to Costco twice since it has opened. Overall I am fairly impressed with the pricing although I won’t be renewing my membership next year until one opens closer to where I live (currently I travel approx 1hr 15mins each way). I thought I’d join for the first year and see how it goes. There are certainly many bargains to be had. I bought some Prada sunglasses for a family member which were $199. They usually retail for about $450. I wrote down a few prices the first time I went. They can be found here: Buckscoop also has some examples of prices at Costco which can be found here: Some of the prices of the electrical goods on this website are outdated since Costco opened. Most of them are cheaper now.

    I am glad to hear Costco is planning to accelerate the openings of other stores as this will hopefully increase Costco’s buying power in Australia which will (hopefully) lead to even lower prices. It’s important to keep in mind that Costco is not an Aldi. They do stock their home brand, although it often appears to be more expensive than some of the other brands on offer. Costco in my opinion is really about getting value for money though you have to buy in bulk. On handing over my $60 for the membership I expected to ‘save’ money however I find myself spending similar amounts pre-costco but with more food. A gripe I have is that Costco charge for parking…although the first 2hours is free it’s $5 per hour after that with a maximum of $25. They originally had it so the first hour was free, $6 for 1 – 2 hrs, $9 for 2 – 3 hrs, $12 for 3 – 4 hrs and $15 for more than 4hrs but I think alot of people complained (including myself) so they changed it. A question for American readers…Do you get charged for parking at the Costco store you shop at?

    The last time I went I wasn’t really on the lookout for Christmas items though I did see some Christmas lights and advent calendars etc…I’m not too sure about the waterglobes / snowglobes. Sorry.

    BTW TJ…does your ‘inside source’ have any more detail on what area of Melbourne they hope to open a second Costco or is it all just talk at this time?

  11. 12 Evan Brom // 2009.10.10 at 2:29 am

    Costco in Glendale AZ (arrowhead) just opened a car wash, Watch the video at! 7.99 seems a bit pricey however.

  12. 13 Kristine // 2009.10.10 at 12:21 am

    Hi! Love the website! I am an American, living in Melbourne for the past 6 years. I can’t begin to tell you how excited and happy I was when the rumors of Costco coming to Australia for years finally came true! Since opening day, I have averaged one to two trips a week—sometimes just to meet friends at the food court for a slice of pizza or a hot dog!!! Luckily, I live less than 10 minutes away! 🙂
    Some Christmas stock has started to come in, and slowly some new items are trickling in. Funny, the two items they just can’t seem to keep in stock are the Best Foods mayo and the Skippy peanut butter!!! Aussies just aren’t used to great quality at a great price! Many Americans in Oz are just thrilled to get items we thought we would never see again-like Monterey Jack cheese, Tide laundry detergent, Bounce sheets, etc! I was glad to see Kirkland albacore tuna and the Kirkland chunk chicken breast in the can as well as the frozen Alaskan Salmon!!!!! It has been great to have Costco here! It has slowed down to where you no longer have to wait in line an hour or more to checkout–but it is still plenty busy and it doesn’t surprise me to hear there may already be plans for a second store in Melbourne. I lived in Arizona for 25 years, and given the population of Melbourne is similar to the Phoenix metro area (and there are a half dozen or so stores there)—I could easily see 3 stores staying busy in Melbourne!! Opening Day was a blast, with everyone in such a great mood–strangers would comment on items in people’s carts, asking where they found such and such…and my gosh there were so many American accents! 😉 It has been great welcoming Costco to Oz!!! (the only negative comment I will make for now is the major lack of the usual sampling going on!)

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