UPDATE: How an Ipswich Costco would benefit you
THE friendly battle between Logan and Ipswich to win the affections of bulk-buy grocery giant Costco is ramping up amid whispers the retailer is ready to choose.
It's been almost a year since the Ipswich Masters Home Improvement site was first flagged as the potential new home for a second Costco in the state's south-east.
Now the city is stepping up its bid for the wholesaler whose arrival in North Lakes has been proven to force down petrol prices while bringing another level of competition to the grocery market.
Boonah mum Sharni Lewis has only ever been inside a Costco store once, while she was visiting Melbourne, but said it was an unforgettable experience with a huge range of products.
"Everything was supersized,” Sharni said.
"I'm so excited at the thought Costco would open a store in Ipswich. I live in Boonah so North Lakes is just too far to drive but it would be amazing to bulk buy food in Ipswich.
"I wouldn't drive to Logan either. I hope Costco chooses Ipswich.”
Ipswich City Council confirmed it is still in talks with Costco and although there are plenty of potential sites around the city, there's no concrete commitment yet.
Mayor Paul Pisasale is hoping when the time arrives the proposal comes to his council.
He said Ipswich has plenty to offer Costco that Logan doesn't, including a younger demographic and a population growth forecast unrivalled across the south-east corner.
If Costco decides to make Ipswich its new home, residents would benefit from more than adding another grocery competitor to the local market.
The "Costco effect” has been proven at North Lakes where petrol prices plummeted when the wholesale giant moved in.
RACQ's Renee Smith said service stations nearby were forced to drop their prices to compete meaning motorists didn't need to be a Costco member to benefit.
"We saw service stations, particularly in North Lakes and Mango Hill, drop their prices which was great news for locals,” Ms Smith said.
"It had the biggest impact at the peak of the petrol cycle, so that when prices started going up, people living near the Costco didn't feel that pinch because everyone in the area still had to compete with Costco's prices.
"Lately Ipswich has had some of the cheapest petrol prices in Queensland, it really has been the place to fill up.
"If Costco moved in, we'd likely see petrol prices in the neighbouring suburbs dropping their prices to compete.”
Since the announcement that Costco was looking for a new south-east Queensland site, several parcels of land in Ipswich have been rumoured to be in the US grocery giant's sights.
In December 2016 the Masters site at Springfield seemed the likely spot, although a property at Wacol had also been flagged as the potential new home for Costco and there is also chatter about the superstore setting up at Bundamba.
Costco has been tight-lipped about its intentions and talk of Logan being the chosen city have been raging since 2015.
A spokesperson has previously hinted that any new Queensland site would follow the same design and layout plan as the North Lakes site with ground-level retail, fuel station and parking.