The floor to ceiling shelves are filling with stock, the giant freezers are ready and the fuel station tanks are full as the final countdown to the opening of Costco Ipswich begins.
The much-anticipated opening has been set for 8am on 2 May, bringing to an end months of speculation and delays.
Costco Ipswich warehouse manager Nick Weller said staff were pumped ahead of what some consider the biggest shake up in history to the city’s shopping landscape.
Costco is an American chain which operates a membership driven shopping model focused heavily around bulk buys.
Its 13,750 square metre warehouse at Bundamba with 825 car parking spaces is the chain’s 11th in Australia and just the second in Queensland.
“There’s a lot of store pride, and the staff have been training at North Lakes but are now looking forward to delivering for the Ipswich community,” he said.
“It’s been a long time coming but we’ve finally got an opening date for Costco Ipswich which is May 2nd.
“The building has been getting stocked for the last week or so, things are moving in that area.
“We’ve got the gas station ready to go so the pumps are ready to pump, we’re just waiting on some final approvals from Department of Transport and Main Roads.”
The American supermarket giant chose Bundamba for its latest store because it is well located, close to the Warrego and Cunningham highways as well as the Ipswich Motorway.
Mr Weller said the store was expected to draw customers to Ipswich from across south-east Queensland, including Toowoomba.
“Any local business around here is going to benefit from Costco being here,” he said.
The benefits to Ipswich do not stop there, with Costco bringing jobs to the city and the potential for lower prices through increased competition.
“We’re probably about 70 per cent employed. We’re still working through some of the resumes and interview process at the moment,” he said.
“We’ll have about 280 staff on the books by opening which is a good number for the community.
“We’ve found in other areas wherever Costco has come with gas we’ve lowered the pricing across the region. A lot of people call it the Costco effect where it has a massive impact on the whole area.”
Mr Weller said shopping at Costco was as much about the experience as anything else.
“We have some great items. We are well priced. We have things that no-one else has,” he said.
“You can get your tyres fitted, you can fill up your car with petrol, you can get a hot dog in the food court.
“You can buy clothing, you can by all your food needs. We have top quality meat department, bakery, deli. It’s just a great experience to come and shop at Costco.”
Costco is renowned for stocking some rather unique items, with a few, including a giant decorative wine glass which reportedly sells like hotcakes, already in store.
Mr Weller said between now and opening day more unique and high-end “wow” items were expected.
Costco membership is required to shop at Costco or purchase fuel from the store’s service station.
Annual memberships are $55 for business and $60 for individuals, and can be purchased online.
Costco Ipswich warehouse manager Nick Weller.
Adam Selway of Brassall is excited to be working at Costco Ipswich.