The world’s second-largest retailer after Walmart has announced when it’s opening its first New Zealand store, the $100 million-plus Costco at Westgate.
And as you might guess, it’s a little later than we were previously told.
Instead of the first half of this year, the giant American cash-and-carry has delayed its opening by around two months.
Patrick Noone, Costco Australia and NZ managing director, said: “If all goes well, it will be a late August opening.”
In October 2020, Noone told about 300 Property Council members in Auckland that 2022’s first half was the target opening date.
But even late August doesn’t appear to be exactly set in stone.
“It does depend on what’s going on with the border. We need to bring people out here to train, and we need to bring buyers out here to buy goods, so with the border currently we have to apply for critical worker status for all those people,” Noone told food publication Foodticker.
A Costco spokesperson confirmed today from Australia that late August was the planned opening date at this stage.
Noone said the company was now trying to get approval for around seven staff that it needed to bring in from Australia by July.
“To send a buyer currently they need to be approved to be a critical worker, then do 10 days quarantine, before [they] can spend 10 to 20 days or longer on the ground, but it is still a very onerous prospect right now,” he told Foodticker.
Jody Farrell, assistant general merchandise manager, told the publication that Costco had been “pleasantly surprised with how well we have been received by the New Zealand supplier base”.
The Herald reported this month on progress at the construction site where Haydn & Rollett has the head contract.
Containers still surround many parts of the site, being used as worksite and project management offices and for storage of goods and equipment while construction is under way.
The most significant development recently is starting to lay post-tension floor slabs within the main retail floor spaces.
Around 150 people are working on the site daily.
A green belt of trees, shrubs, lawns and bush fronts the Maki St side of the store. Most of the western and the northern boundaries adjoin the Kopupaka Reserve. The western boundary is irregular and follows the alignment of a small stream. Another stream or drainage channel runs outside the site along the eastern boundary adjacent to the motorway.
What will be car parking on the ground level around the new store now has construction equipment, skips, a crawler crane, pipes and portaloos.
Wall linings can be seen stacked inside the new Costco, wrapped in protective covers.
Ramps for vehicles to drive to the upper levels of the store are now formed and in place – unusual about this Costco because most overseas don’t have rooftop parking but this does cater for what the Americans expect to be strong customer demand.
Head contractor Haydn & Rollett has branded blue fence mesh around the exterior of the site, which has been secured with gates and metal fencing.
More cladding is yet to be applied to the building’s exterior. The builders are expected soon to lay a waterproof bitumen layer then asphalt on concrete for the car parking areas on the middle of two car parking levels.
Costco’s resource consent said it would have 795 car parks, including 18 accessible spaces, six customer parking spaces for a tyre centre, 43 staff parks and 10 stands for 20 bikes.
Costco Wholesale Fuel will be at 6 Kakano Rd near Mega Mitre 10. The self-service fuel station will be only for Costco members with one staff member and no retail, air or carwash. Haydn & Rollett is also building the fuel station, expected to open before the Costco warehouse.
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