COMMENT:

A company with net annual sales equivalent to New Zealand's total gross domestic product announced this week it planned to open its first store in this country.

United States-headquartered Costco Wholesale declared net annual sales of $293 billion (US$138b) in the year to September 2, 2018 - precisely, as it happens, the same as New Zealand's total national GDP of $293b in the December, 2018 year.

On Tuesday at 2pm, Patrick Noone, Costco Wholesale Australia and New Zealand managing director, stood on a gravel path at Westgate Town Centre. There, he announced the world's second-largest retailer, behind Walmart, would

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