PRICE COMPARISON: Families the biggest Costco winners
IPSWICH families with small children still getting about in nappies can save hundreds of dollars a year when Costco opens at Bundamba.
The US warehouse retailer is known globally for cost-cutting goods sold in bulk and cheap nappies are at the top of the shopping list for many families.
Families who already shop at Costco in other parts of Australia pay as little as 45c for a nappy, compared to 55c each at other supermarkets.
Baby wipes are also cheaper, if parents don't mind buying 1000 at a time, with 100 sheets going for $3.86 at Costco, compared to $5 for 100 wipes at other stores already established in Ipswich.
Formula sells for just over $18 a kilogram at Costco, compared to $35 for 900g at major supermarkets.
The company's massive buying power, unique membership system and savvy business model means shelf prices are significantly lower than in other grocery stores.
The Hartfiel family from North Ipswich travels to the Costco store at North Lakes every month to buy nappies for 15-month-old Darcy. Mum Courtney Hartfiel says the family stocks up on pantry essentials at Costco and buys fresh food and other perishable items at local supermarkets.
"We love Costco, we have been travelling to North Lakes for around four years," she said.
"We get nappies, wipes, toilet paper, tissues, cleaning products and pretty much anything that is non perishable."
"At Costco we can get more than 100 Huggies nappies for $50 but at Coles it costs $18 for 20 nappies."
She said cheaper fuel prices were also a good incentive to make the journey to the state's only other Costco warehouse.
"It's over an hour drive but we fuel up every time we go and my husband takes jerry cans to fill up because the fuel is heaps cheaper," Ms Hartfiel said.
"We save probably $20 to $30 a tank for both the diesel and unleaded cars.
Minister for State Development Cameron Dick said Costco presented a competitive grocery prices for shoppers.
"Everyone loves a bargain and that's what this project will deliver," he said.
"This $50m investment is a big win for the Ipswich region. It will deliver more jobs locally and a strong local investment footprint. "What more could you ask for; lower prices for Costco and more local jobs.
"For shoppers this means lower prices and more local jobs so it will be a great Christmas in Ipswich."
Costco Australia managing director Patrick Noone said the bulk-but model had already proven successful in other markets in Australia.
"Competition is always better for pricing. In all the other markets we have opened, we see more competition in petrol pricing," he said.