The world's second-largest retailer, Costco, has won Auckland Council resource consent to build its first New Zealand store in a $100 million-plus venture at Westgate.
Auckland Council said consent had now been granted for the store of 14,740sq m.
Costco, second only to Walmart, has annual revenue around the same as New Zealand's gross domestic product.
Patrick Noone, Costco Australia and New Zealand managing director, today welcomed the council consent. Once completed, the warehouse and associated fuel operation with 30 pumps will employ 275 to 300 staff, he said.
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Asked if the timing was still to open next year, as announced last June, Noone indicated from Australia some doubt about that.
"Unfortunately, the current global climate has thrown off our timetable. At this stage we cannot comment on timelines until we see lifting of travel restrictions," he said.
Earlier this month, the Herald reported the Overseas Investment Office has just announced it has given consent for Costco Wholesale New Zealand to buy land at Massey's Westgate.
Costco needed state consent here because the land it is buying is classified as sensitive. It applied to buy a freehold interest in 2.7ha of land at the corner of Maki St and Gunton Dr at Westgate near the Harvey Norman store.
It also needed OIO consent because it plans to establish a business in this country where the expenditure involved exceeded $100m - the land purchase and the development of the giant new store with its fuel station, food court, pharmacy and hearing aid sales centre.
Noone said today Costco would present "a whole new way of shopping for New Zealand consumers. There is nothing like Costco in New Zealand. By simply offering a no-frills warehouse experience with the highest quality products at the best possible prices, we hope to quickly and firmly establish ourselves in the market".
"We also add a layer of competition to the market and extend the choice of the consumer. We also offer a value statement to our members. Members will be able to buy everything from fresh food and electronics to clothing and cleaning supplies, all in one warehouse. There will also be the added value of our speciality departments, such as our optical centre, hearing aid centre, tyre centre and fuel station," he said.
Costco had been well received in the Australian market "and hope for the same as we expand Costco's reach now to the New Zealand market", he said today.
The business already buys goods from New Zealand. Noone said last year those products included blueberries, apples and frozen croissants.
The croissants are in dozen-packs which are shipped frozen in containers across the Tasman, then thawed and cooked in the warehouse stores for customers to take home fresh.
"Our croissants are from Yarrows Bakery," Noone said.
Yarrows said: "Our flagship state-of-the-art bakery is located in the small south Taranaki town of Manaia and operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week. We supply an extensive range of breads, rolls, croissants, cookies and other quality baking products to leading supermarkets, retailers and food companies. All produced on highly specialised modern equipment."
Phil Yarrow, Yarrows Bakery executive director, said last year his business had sold to Costco for the last six years.
"We send one 40ft container of frozen baker products from Tauranga to Sydney a week, to go to Costco's distribution centre," Yarrow said.
Croissants, pizza bases and Danish pastries. New Zealand butter and apples gave us an edge in Costco stores, he said.
Noone said when he visited last year that Costco would seek to establish more relationships with New Zealanders to sell our goods in its stores overseas.