How much you could save when Costco makes NZ debut: fuel, audiology, optical prices slashed

Credit: Original article can be found here


8 Nov, 2020 07:35 PM

Costco Westgate’s plans in its resource consent application. Photo / supplied

Petrol up to 20 cents cheaper, digital behind-the-ear hearing aids for around $2000, a second pair of prescription glasses $50 off and Calvin Klein menswear 70 per cent reduced: Costco is coming and along with it savings.

The world’s second-largest retailer after Walmart is aiming to shake up the fuel, audiology, optical and designer clothing markets when it opens in Auckland in two years’ time.

An Auckland presentation late last month from Patrick Noone, Costco’s Australia and New Zealand managing director, showed details about the huge savings offered to its member customers.

“Savings of 5 to 20 cents” said one slide showing a Costco fuel station.

“Driving value” said another slide in the presentation of what Costco would bring to New Zealand when it opens in 2022.

It’s thought Costco would aim to permanently undercut other fuel retailers, partly to draw customers from as far afield as Tauranga or Hamilton, and throughout Auckland.

Haydn & Rollett has won the head contract to build the $100 million store at Westgate. Site works started near the Harvey Norman there in early September and Noone said the 15,000sq m warehouse wouldn’t open next year, as originally anticipated, but in the first half of 2022.

New Zealanders are paying many thousands of dollars for increasingly sophisticated digital hearing aids, many blue-toothed to cellphones and television boxes. Costco is aiming to disrupt that lucrative market for our increasingly ageing population.

Earthworks on the Auckland site recently. Photo / suppliedEarthworks on the Auckland site recently. Photo / supplied

Noone showed how Costco was selling a pair of Kirkland Signature 9 premium digital behind-the-hear hearing aids which came in five colours for only A$1899.99. Behind-the-ear aids are worn by people with more severe hearing loss, compared to in-the-ear aids, which Costco also sells. But the BTEs are usually much more expensive.

Costco Optical showed spectacles on a deal: “Buy one complete pair of prescription eyeglasses and receive A$50 off your second pair”.

But not everything will be cheap. Most Kiwis would be happy with a 1-carat diamond ring but Costco has gone 10 times that, advertising a 10-carat round brilliant cut diamond solitaire ring selling for A$799,999.99 as “unique to Costco”.

A men’s Cle De Cartier 18KT yellow gold watch with a silver dial is advertised at A$32,999.99, and again is “unique to Costco”.

Then there are the fashion designer brand savings: Noone showed how in women’s apparel, a Calvin Klein logo crew pullover was 75 per cent less. Sketchers, the popular women’s shoewear line, at 62 per cent less than in other stores. In men’s apparel, a Tommy Hilfiger flag sweater was at a 72 per cent savings vs retail.

Men’s Calvin Klein three-pack “trunks” or underwear was 70 per cent below retail.

Then Noone told more than 200 people at the conference about what he referred to as “wow items” – those which draw people to Costco outlets:

• A 93-inch Hugfun bear is shown in the back of a Hilux flatbed ute near a Costco tyre centre and children were pictured sitting with the giant bears, piled high in the retailer’s wire cages;

• A paddleboard, rowed by four people and with two others seated also appeared under this category;

• And, because his address was given in the leadup to Halloween, Noone also showed decor for this season of the year at big savings.

In the leadup to Christmas, Costco is selling a 100-piece Christmas stocking as tall as a small child which Noone said was unique to the chain.

Noone said Costco has 788 warehouses including 548 in the United States, 100 in Canada and 12 in Australia.

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