The Costco Experience

Costco Warehouse

I must admit it. It has been nearly a year since Costco first opened its doors in Brisbane but today was the first time I had visited it. For those not familiar with the Costco concept, it is an American warehouse supermarket chain that you can only gain access and purchase from via a membership. First thing to do when I arrived at the store was to get a membership. You can bring along two guests with you on one membership card, but the assigned member must be the one to pay. This is unique from normal supermarkets, and the membership cost is one form of revenue for Costco. So far, there is only one Costco in the state.

Be prepared to walk around a lot. None of the aisles is labelled so there’s a bit of exploring to do. Though the items are sold in bulk, there is a small range to choose from. This is the Costco model, and it shows it has been a success because customers are saving money in the long term by buying in bulk. The initial cost of purchase might frighten some consumers but in the end you might save money because you’re not frequently revisiting the supermarket to restock supplies. Another surprising thing is the quality of quality of the grocery items. The ready-to-bake pizzas were delicious!

However, Costco North Lakes is often packed with people, which to me dampened the experience a little bit. Personally, I’d probably visit Costco on a non-regular basis…say bi-monthly. It’s not like a normal supermarket where you have to visit regularly. Once the crowd settles down as well, I think the shopping experience would be more pleasant. I believe Costco will be opening one near my neck of the woods so that would help as well with crowd numbers.

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