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Costco To Take On Amazon With New Office Supply Online Service

Costco the big US retailer who has been slowly expanding sales of consumer electronics, appliances and office products is set to grow their online business up against Amazon.

The Company that is slowly expanding their Australian warehouse operation is set to trial a new online delivery service for businesses based near the Melbourne CBD.

With a minimum order of $1000 and delivery within a 10km radius of its Docklands store, the service also marks a new and overt push to capture a greater slice of the market, as Costco hopes to sell bulk goods from office supply gear to food for restaurants pubs and cafes.

According to the Australian the concept was launched in its ­Docklands store and accompanied by a new website, www.costcowholesaledelivery.com.au, Costco could roll the online ­business delivery service to its other stores nationally.

It marks a continued departure from the traditional Costco model, which has relied on its bricks and mortar stores and a loyal membership base, which pays an annual membership fee to shop at the big-box warehouse format stores.

Costco Australia chief executive Patrick Noone last month commented that the retailer had plans to launch an online store in the next 12 to 18 months, just in time — perhaps — to cope with the disruptive impact of Amazon’s local landing, with what many expect to be a full suite of online offers, products and ­services.

But the new business-to-­business strategy, distinct from a direct to consumer model, is ­expected to be highly attractive to local businesses.

Since first arriving in Australia in 2009 with its maiden warehouse store in Melbourne’s Docklands, Costco has racked up more than $5 billion in sales, ­grabbing market share from a range of rival retail formats ­including supermarkets, general merchandise stores, clothing and consumer electronics.

Documents lodged with the corporate regulator show ­Costco’s annual revenue rose to $1.52bn for the 52 weeks to ­August 2016, up 15 per cent on $1.32bn booked in 2015.

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