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‘OMG YES’: Costco goes online

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This is a Costco store in Homestead, Pa. on Thursday, April 11, 2019. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)
Costco is going online.

One of the best things about shopping at Costco is the free samples: a chocolate truffle here, a dumpling there, and finishing the day off with a lamb cutlet.

But if you’d still prefer to shop from home, there’s good news. The bulk goods retailer is going online.

“It's finally here! Shop from an extended range of products, in the comfort of your own home and have them delivered straight to your door,” the company announced on Twitter.

“We’re thrilled to share that online shopping is coming to Australia soon,” the wholesaler added on its website.

“Just like shopping at the warehouse, this service will be available exclusively to our members.”

Costco memberships go for $60 a year, and shoppers will be informed when delivery becomes available in their region. Costco has 12 stores across Australia.

Shipping charges are included in the price of goods on the website.

The announcement on Facebook racked up more than 1,000 likes and 1,300 comments, with Australians reacting with excitement.

“OMG… YES,” said one excited shopper.

“This could be dangerous,” added another.

“What an excellent development,” another Costco fan said.

Topsy-turvy sector

People are shopping at a Coles supermarket in the central business district of Sydney on March 16, 2018. Australian supermarket chain Coles will be spun off into a separate entity by owner Wesfarmers, the company said on March 16, amid a shake-up in the food retail sector as new entrants threaten a longstanding duopoly. / AFP PHOTO / William WEST        (Photo credit should read WILLIAM WEST/AFP via Getty Images)
Australia's supermarket sector is undergoing change. Image: Getty

The announcement comes weeks after major Costco threat Kaufland pulled out of Australia. Kaufland had planned to open 20 stores and had invested more than $450 million, but pulled the plug in late January, apologising for the “disruption”.

Retail expert Brian Walker said the German giant’s expert reflected the “global sector’s challenges”.

Costco also faces a challenge from Coles.

The American-founded company specialises in supersized products, appealing to budget-conscious Australians.

Coles in mid-2019 announced it too would enter the supersize product game with a range of up-sized items.

“We know our customers look for value when stocking up on pantry staples and offering some of our popular products in bulk is one way we are helping our customers save time and manage the family budget,” Coles chief operating officer Greg Davis said in May last year.

“A great example is the Barilla 5kg bag of spaghetti, which is enough to make 40 main course-sized bowls of pasta and last the average family for a couple of months, or even feed the whole extended family at a celebration.”

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