Costco ‘‘touched’’ by loyal customers

Costco ‘‘touched’’ by loyal customers

By Rhonda Dredge

Hundreds of happy shoppers converged on the bulk food store Costco after their travel limits were increased to 25 kilometres last month.

Members lined up outside the store to replenish their stocks on the first day they could travel. There were traffic jams in the car park and waits of half an hour to get inside on October 19.

But the mood was joyful as shoppers emerged laden with the goods they hadn’t been able to purchase since the five-kilometre travel limit was introduced in June.

For the Swenson family of Richmond, a white Hilfiger polo top for $24.99 caught their eye.

And their dog Tassie was once again re-united with his favourite dog food.

For the Withers family of Hoppers Crossing it was the $2 hot dogs and the dozen muffins for $10 that won them over.

The lines to get into the store were as long as they were when the city first went into lockdown back in March.

Then, consumers were going for bulk supplies of toilet rolls. This time around large stuffed toys called Squishamals were prominent in trolleys at $15 a pop.

One Squishimal fan was Lucy Camas from Point Cook. “We came before the queue at around 11. It’s a special place to come,” she said.

Narelle Withers with her two sons, Zeno and Junior, said this was the first place they wanted to visit when lockdown was lifted.

“You see things here you can’t get anywhere else,” she said. “This is the one thing I wanted to do. I waited half an hour to get inside.”

Renee and Chris Swenson avoided the queues by putting off their visit until the Tuesday.

“Because we couldn’t get there during COVID we got a credit,” Renee said. “There were a lot of toys and Christmas presents.”

She said the store was just outside their five-kilometre limit and “they don’t do delivery.” Her daughter Caitlin asked them to bring back a pizza. “I said if you clean out your room.” Caitlin sent her a picture while they were in the store.

“We didn’t actually need anything there. We just wanted to be somewhere different. It was good. We stayed 40 minutes,” she said.

The company said it was touched by the spirit of Melbourne shoppers as they came out of lockdown.

“Costco has received countless messages from our Victorian members over the past few months, wishing they were able to visit our warehouses. We are sincerely grateful for how loyal our membership base has been throughout these unprecedented times,” Costco Australia’s managing director Patrick Noone told Docklands News.

“While we were prepared for an increase in foot traffic this week, and continue to implement a COVID-safe plan accordingly, having so many members visiting this early within the first week is touching.”

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