All prices will be announced starting next Wednesday when the store opens at 8am. Video / Carson Blu
A boss from one of the world’s largest retailers expects more interactions with New Zealand businesses when it opens here next week.
Patrick Noone, Costco Warehouse’s country manager for Australia and New Zealand, wants more
Kiwi companies to reach out and offer more products that could then be sold at 828 locations worldwide.
New Zealand products are already prominent in the health food section, Noone says, showing off a jar of Manuka honey sold here and abroad.
“What I would say to them is, ‘Come over to Costco, walk around and see how we like to do things.’ It’s about the efficiency of scaling. Instead of making 12 variations, make one that can be packed on a pallet, make bigger products because you put more emphasis on a bigger pack,” Noone said.
Costco’s most recent annual report called net sales for the 52-week fiscal year ended August 2021 totaled $192 billion, up 18 percent. Net income was $5 billion, up 25 percent. Membership dues revenue increased 9 percent to $3.9 billion.
The chain had stores in 828 locations at the end of last year, including 572 in the US, 105 in Canada, two in China and 13 in Australia. It employs 288,000 people.
It buys most of its goods directly from the manufacturers and its strategy is to offer members a wide range of quality goods at consistently lower prices than elsewhere.
To showcase New Zealand products, Noone holds up a 1kg jar of Manuka Health Honey, which Costco says is “traceable from beekeeper to jar and tested for quality, purity and New Zealand origin”. At a Seattle Costco, this ultra-high quality glass retails for $79.99.
Apples from New Zealand “go around the world” and our cherries are sold in Asian Costco stores, “so it’s a lot of horticulture but also a lot of health and beauty with New Zealand manufactured products”.
Sealy Posturepedic’s luxurious mattresses and beds feature prominently in New Zealand’s first $100m Costco department store, occupying a bay entrance display near the coffins and artificial turf behind the front door.
The Costco Warehouse in Westgate cannot sell alcohol as it is in The Trusts West Auckland area, but overseas stores sell Ti Point Marlborough Kirkland Signature Sauvignon Blanc.
The Herald reported today how an award-winning New Zealand hair care brand went super big after winning a deal with major retailer Costco. Everblue haircare, made in Kiwi, has designed 800ml bottles of their shampoo and conditioner for the store, which is known for its mass-produced products.
“We’re really excited to be entering Costco, the overseas market and large format,” said Renee Lee, Everblue’s chief operating officer.
“In typical Costco fashion, it’s oversized so it’s an 800ml bottle of our shampoo and conditioner and then a gift box so it’s all wrapped together – it’s going to be a very busy few months for us.”
Picking up a double pack of Everblue hair product, Noone says, “If we could get vendors to package it like this… They’re the big size and they can make enough.”
Yarrows Bakery in Manaia ships container loads of its frozen bakery products for Costco in Australia.
The croissants are shipped frozen in containers across the Tasman continent in packs of the dozen, then thawed and cooked in the warehouses for customers to take home fresh.
“Our croissants are from Yarrows Bakery, south of Auckland,” says Noone.
Yarrows says: “Our flagship, state-of-the-art bakery is located in the small town of Manaia in southern Taranaki and operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week. We supply an extensive range of breads, rolls, croissants, biscuits and other high quality bakery products to leading supermarkets, retailers and food companies, all produced on highly specialized modern facilities.”
No one also pointed out bottles of biogenic aloe vera tonic, which are manufactured here and sold in Costco, along with Two Islands’ Happy Gut dietary supplement, which also supplies Collagen Beauty Capsules.
Go Men’s Multi Advanced capsules are also stocked on shelves in Auckland and at other Costcos, Noone said.
Suppliers who want to work with Costco have to think carefully about packaging and pallet sizes, Noone says. Goods are taken straight from trucks and stacked on the warehouse floor, so looks and practicality were key, he says.
• Costco Warehouse opens here at 8:00 am Wednesday, September 28th.