Costco is set to build one of the biggest distribution centres in the country, a facility which the US retail giant is splurging $78 million to develop for its ambitious 10-year growth strategy.
The NSW Government announced on Monday that it had approved the 14-hectare depot – equivalent to about 17 Olympic soccer fields – in western Sydney’s Kemps Creek that will serve as the distribution centre for all Costco stores nationally. The centre is expected to generate about 1000 jobs.
At 33,000 square metres of internal space it will be the company’s largest in Australia and is big enough to service up to 30 stores, a number which Costco is aiming to achieve within 10 years.
At present there are nine Costco stores across Australia, with three more under construction in Victoria, Queensland and Western Australia. Costco plans to open two stores a year to reach their growth targets.
The approval comes as Australian retailers are looking to future-proof themselves against Amazon, which last week announced it would launch its Fulfilment by Amazon service that allows businesses to access the e-commerce titan’s logistics capabilities, including packing, shipping, customer service and returns.
Costco Wholesale Australia’s managing director Patrick Noone said the Oakdale South Industrial Estate site was chosen as “an investment in Costco’s future in Australia”.
“As we expand our business, we require a larger facility to serve the needs of our members here in Australia,” he said.
“This location is ideal for housing our depot and provides hundreds of jobs in Sydney’s booming west.”
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian, who made the announcement on Monday, said she hoped the area around Sydney’s second airport at nearby Badgerys Creek would become a “fully integrated economic precinct”.
“Costco is the latest major employer to be setting up shop near the future airport site, helping form what will be an aerotropolis,” Ms Berejiklian said.
Costco, which first entered the Australian market in 2009, purchased the parcel of land in Oakdale South Industrial Estate, from joint owners Goodman and Brickworks for an undisclosed price.
Its current distribution facility in Wetherill Park, which Costco says is too small to accommodate its future growth, will be closed once the new one is open in 2019.
The wider Oakdale estate – including Oakdale Central, South and West – covers more than 300 hectares of industrial land and is expected to be worth more than $2 billion when completed.
Goodman Australia’s general manager Jason Little said the estate’s location close to key motorways, the jobs hub of Western Sydney and the future Badgerys Creek Airport made it a prime site for large retailers.
“By basing its major NSW depot here at Oakdale South, Costco is leveraging the estate’s strategic location in terms of easy access to consumers and the employment pool here in Western Sydney.”
The facility will be developed in two stages and is projected to be completed in time for the launch of Costco’s online shopping next year.
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