COSTCO: Exclusive sneak peek before grand opening
OVERSIZED tubs of Vegemite, gigantic teddy bears, children's playgrounds and even coffins are just a few of the items which are currently being stocked on the shelves at Coscto Ipswich ahead of their grand opening.
Deliveries to the Bundamba warehouse began last week, and many of the store's 280 workers have been busy unloading the pallets in preparation for when the doors open on May 2.
Following months of setback and delays, Costco Ipswich warehouse manager Nick Weller said he was excited the final preparations were being made.
"It's been a long way getting to this point, but we finally have an opening date for Costco Ipswich, which is May 2," Mr Weller said.
"We did have some issues early on with Wood St. We had a heavy rainfall which set that road back. We had to virtually pull that up and start all over again.
"We also had some works on Ashburn Rd. Some if it was more complicated than we first thought, so that's what has held it up."
The warehouse is approximately 13,750sqm and includes a optical centre, hearing aid centre, tyre centre, food court, meat department, bakery and 16 checkouts.
Shoppers will be able to fill their trolleys with everyday household items, toys, books, designer clothes such as Calvin Klein, Tommy Hilfiger, Adidas and Nautica, as well as gym equipment, fridges and even the kitchen sink.
Larger items such as gazebos, spas and coffins can be purchased at the kiosk program, which is located at the front of the store.
"This is generally where you can find all the big items, like the coffins. Yes, Costco Ipswich will be selling coffins," Mr Weller said.
"We also have spas, blinds and fake lawn.
"Customers will be able to look at the displays, fill out a brochure and it all gets delivered. Or someone does a quote at their house.
"The gazebo is one of our biggest selling items, and I think living in this part of Queensland it is going to continue to be really popular."
The opening of the warehouse has also been good for the local economy by creating 280 jobs.
Mr Weller said they received a staggering number of resumes.
"I would say more than 8000 resumes for 280 jobs," he said.
"It's been a long process but we wanted to get the best people we can for the jobs to make sure our members get the best service they can.
"We are probably about 70 per cent employed. We are still working through some of the resumes and the interviewing process at the moment."
Sharon Birchall was one lucky local who was hired at Costco.
"I feel very blessed because I am not a young woman," she said.
"I first had a phone interview and then two in-person interviews.
"I'm also lucky because it's 15 minutes from where I live."
Mrs Birchall believes the opening will be a big positive for the city.
"Costco is going to do such an amazing things for Ipswich. I think it will bring more people who might not have ever come out this way," she said.
"It's a destination. Even now people will drive from this part of town to North Lakes.
"People will come from all over this region just to see it."
With only weeks to go, Mr Weller said they are prepared for an influx of shoppers.
"It's going to be a big day, but we welcome everyone to come down and have a look," he said.
"On opening day, we will do our best to get everyone sorted."