Newspaper article The Queensland Times (Ipswich, Australia)

'Costco Effect' Will Change the Way Ipswich Families Buy Their Groceries

Newspaper article The Queensland Times (Ipswich, Australia)

'Costco Effect' Will Change the Way Ipswich Families Buy Their Groceries

Article excerpt

Byline: Emma Clarke

What's on offer

'Gasoline' station

2.9kg of cake for $27

10kg block of chocolate for $179

5kg of Nutella or 6l of vodka

A casket or coffin and a boat

An engagement ring or wedding dress

A doomsday kit

A 93 inch high teddy bear

A $900 block of cheese

AN EXCLUSIVE 'cult' where shoppers can buy a 10kg block of chocolate, a diamond ring or a casket in the same store is about to change how Ipswich families do their grocery shopping.

The company behind American bulk supermarket warehouse Costco has plans to expand into Ipswich and even before shovels hit the ground, Ipswich is preparing for the full force of super-sized retail.

The city hasn't had anything like it before; a shopping experience that promises competitive prices, extensive stock range, a cult-like following and perhaps most importantly, a serious novelty factor.

Costco works on a series of principles to give it an edge on the competition but the weird and wacky things shoppers can put in their trolley with their bread and milk - along with the exclusive membership system - mean the store is about to shake things up.

University of Southern Queensland marketing and consumer behaviour researcher Dr Rumman Hassan warns Costco will have serious effects, both positive and negative, on more than just the local retail market.

Workers, shoppers, businesses, suppliers and even fuel stations are in line to face the 'Costco effect'.

"That emanates from the fact Costco is such a big player, everything they do is grand, it's big, they take large scale to a whole new level and this intimidates a lot of the smaller players," Dr Hassan said.

Dr Hassan said lower prices were the main drawcard for the regular consumer.

"Costco is perceived to offer greater value and what that means for the lay person is the prices are lower. When we look at value we look at benefits and costs so consumers perceive they are getting a lot more than what they're paying for," Dr Hassan said.

"This whole concept they are paying less in comparison to traditional supermarkets is one of the driving forces. …

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