The Moorabbin warehouse has a fuel offer and is built in the traditional Costco model with surrounding level-ground parking. On the opening day, ULP 91 was selling at $109.7¢ a litre.
The warehouse is built on land owned by Moorabbin Airport Corporation, whose CEO, Paul Ferguson, made mention in the official speeches of the fact that Costco and Moorabbin Airport had been working together for the past two years to achieve this latest addition to the airport’s growing retail-tenant list.
Costco Country Manager Patrick Noone said he was pleased to have a third site in the Melbourne metropolitan area, commenting that the next Melbourne opening, at Epping in the city’s north, would give Costco a good geographical spread.
The opening-day crowd was a little less frenetic than at interstate openings where Costco has come to town for the first time. That said, John and Rose Mitchell, at the head of the trolley queue, had lined up at 6:30am.
The Mitchells are experienced Costco members and usually frequent the Ringwood warehouse, but will now make this their ‘local Costco’.
It wouldn’t be a Costco opening without something special on sale. Here, apart from the new line of plush, 56-inch giant kangaroos, the must-have item – perhaps for the chosen few – was a 13.72-carat Asscher Cut Platinum Yellow three-stone diamond ring at $849,999.99.
The first shoppers were through the registers at around 8:20am, shortly after opening. By 10am crowds began to build up at the check-outs, many of the shoppers with full trolleys, some to the point of overflowing. This frenzy continued throughout the morning and when Convenience World left the warehouse just before midday, the place, as they say, was pumping.
Several checks on the patronage of the Costco fuel canopy during the morning noted a steady stream of customers, rather that queues of vehicles, waiting to fill up with low-priced fuel. The site has 18 pumps, including two dedicated hi-flow diesel units.
Costco now has Melbourne warehouses at Docklands, Ringwood and Moorabbin and its presence must be taking sales from somewhere. The sites have been strategically located to provide each with one million people in their trading areas, although Mr Noone said there was some crossover between Ringwood and Moorabbin with the Princes Highway being the demarcation line.