Supermarket wars: The grocery revolution you might be missing

America’s discount retailer Costco has reported over $1.324 billion in Aussie sales this year, doubling its recent figures. Now Costco has big

America’s discount retailer Costco has reported over $1.324 billion in Aussie sales this year, doubling its recent figures. Now Costco has big plans to increase its market share throughout our country, giving established supermarkets a run for their money.

Costco opened its eighth Australian store last month in Victoria, and next year plans to open others in Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne. An estimated 150,000 Australians have become members of Costco since it first opened on Australian shores in 2009.

Indeed, Costco focuses on selling memberships, which are $60 annually. As a result, Costco can slash its mark-ups, selling everything from diamond rings to coffins at about 20-30% less than mainstream supermarkets and other retailers.

At the moment, Costco warehouses need to be located in suburbs with industrial zoning. However, market researchers have predicted that Costco could support 20 new stores over the next five years, making it more widely accessible to everyday Australians. Costco is also diversifying its business model. It currently has four petrol stations, with plans to open more, and may mimic its USA parent by selling products online.

Its stores are about four times the size of an average supermarket, spanning around 14,000 square metres. Costco sells fresh, frozen and packaged goods often in bulk. As Costco Australia chief executive Patrick Noone observed, “fresh foods are doing really well, and actually some of the non-food categories as well, like household goods (and) household appliances”.

Are you a member of Costco, or do you prefer to shop with supermarkets that you know? Do you think it’s positive that international retailers are challenging Australia’s established ‘grocery giants’?




  1. Joined the one at North Lakes when it opened,long drive then walked round saying cheaper at Coles,don’t think I’ll bother

  2. Uummm, I went to Cosco when I was in Sydney 6 weeks ago. Yes it was cheap. However I can’t see myself shopping there. It would cost me $250 for fuel to get there. Even if I went to the Brisvegas one I’d have $100 vehicle running costs for the trip.

    I’m in the Northern Rivers in NSW and have 2 Coles, 2 Woolies an Aldi and a few others in town. I shop at one of the Coles as I like the layout and have got to know a lot of the staff over the past 17 years so the service is excellent. B|

  3. I was at one on Saturday and hated it. It’s all bulk and a single pensioner like me will find it not worth it. Great for families though I would say. Their trollies are huge. Cheap place for lunch……. Every aisle has someone with food samples, chicken etc so you can eat for free.

    • There’s 2 of us but I have found buying their cleaning products and washing detergent ca huge saving for us as its so cheap. Plus we xan now save about $13 buying their diesel which is at least 20 centsca litre cheaper. Mainly buy non perishable items but their lamb loin chops are ao yummy we repack in our serving sizes and get 4 meals out of a packet

    • Glenys I am a one-person household and I joined a few weeks ago. Not everything is in bulk and I saved $45 of my $60 membership on my first visit. I loved it!

  4. We have one in the ACT and we get most of our fuel from there as diesel is on an average 12c a litre cheaper than the cheapest fuel in the region, except of course the Woolworths Fuel near Costco which is 4c dearer, BUT only during the hours that Costco are open then it goes up to the same price everyone else is selling it for. With their good and savings it is well worth the membership fee.

  5. No intention of shopping there…….Coles is my store of choice, I do shop for specials between Coles & Woolies…but Coles need to get with it for price matching for online shopping….

    • Yes they are! Amazing produce at good prices with ‘picked on’ rather than ‘best before’ so you know it’s fresh.

    • All fresh food when possible is sourced locally. Like Coles/Woolworths/Aldi that generally means about >90% sourced locally.

  6. I 💖 Costco!
    I shop there once a fortnight and spend half as much for twice the produce…which is Aussie grown and marked ‘picked on’ not ‘best before’ so I know it’s fresh.
    Cleaning products come in threes & priced 1/3 cheaper than Coles or Woolies.
    Jams, peanut butter etc same price as supermarkets BUT twice the size.
    Their home brand ‘Kirkland’ is amazing value.

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