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If at first you don’t succeed…

nsn 28 June 2011 50

So having failed to excite Canberra shoppers with the factory outlet experiment that was Brand Depot, Canberra Airport is announcing the April 2012 arrival of the Majura Park Shopping Centre, featuring Canberra’s biggest Woolies, a Big W, and a Dick Smith.

I guess the recent addition of a Woolworths petrol station at Majura Park should have been a bit of a hint as to what was to be made of the Brand Depot building, but really, another Woolworths? And a Big W? Are people actually going to travel out to Majura Park for this stuff, or is Woolies just counting on picking up enough custom from the people who travel out to Costco without realising they need to spend $60 to join Costco before they will even be allowed in the door?


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If at first you don’t succeed…
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astrojax 9:26 pm 29 Jun 11

woollies obviously have this store in mind to lose money – a classic drug front if you ask me…

[ok, so you didn’t actually ask me]

Ryoma 6:03 pm 29 Jun 11

I was a CostCo member in Japan some years ago, and it was pretty good. They had 36 inch pizzas available (both frozen, and available to be eaten – 2 slices was enough for me!), though I think you’d need a restaurant-sized oven to cook them. I found cheese from Tassie, and the ubiquitious “South Eastern Australia” plonk available in 4-litre casks for Y1000 (at the time, about $A16).

The membership at the time was about Y5000/$A80, and it paid for itself in savings the first time I went inside. To be fair, though, Japan had a pretty protected retail sector, so I’m not surprised by that. Whether it will be quite as good value-wise over here, I’m not sure.

Allegedly CostCo are going to sell a lot of Australian-sourced goods, so I don’t know how different their offering is going to be. But where I think they will do better is with service, and that has to be a good thing. I think many (not all) of our retailers have long relied upon distance for protection from real customer service, and they are currently being blown out of the water as a result of that as much as the high dollar.

If only they (CostCo) would like to compete with ACTEW-AGL in our gas and electricity markets, and be open for connections on weekends….sigh…

EvanJames 4:35 pm 29 Jun 11

thatsnotme said :

Is Costco really expected to be popular enough that it will pull enough punters to support other businesses out there?

CostCo is a destination in the US, people will come in from hours’ drive away, to get their stuff, it’s that good. If CostCo here is as good, they’ll clean up. If it’s a lame version, people won’t bother once the word gets out. I’m not buying membership until I see what they’ve got. I’ve shopped in a US one a LOT and know what should be there!

Waiting For Godot 4:22 pm 29 Jun 11

If repeated attempts to operate supermarkets in Fyshwick failed (where there are heaps of workers), I hardly think plonking one out in the middle of nowhere will work. More proof that truth is stranger than fiction.

EvanJames 4:05 pm 29 Jun 11

neanderthalsis said :

Turning it into a “woolworths precinct” will pave the way for one of their “Oxygen” stores (like Lowes in the USA, a Bunnings on steroids) when they get off the ground. That would set the place up as being more of a homemaker type centre rather than your average suburban shopping centre.

I’m really puzzled, because this is what the rumours said was going to open there. It would make a lot of sense, it would be a destination shop, it would attract people, and being next to CostCo they’d be able to benefit from each other’s traffic without directly competing, perfect.

Unless CostCo is incredibly lame, I cannot see how woolies/big w hope to do anything but fail. It’s just about the weirdest thing I’ve ever heard.

McDoctor 2:15 pm 29 Jun 11

Has anyone actually been inside the mega Supa-Barn at the airport? A few weeks back, after dropping a friend off at the airport I thought I could save some time by popping in there to pick up some kids’ party stuff instead of having to manoevre through busy traffic (at that time of day) in Belconnen/Gunghalin.

Well, it looks impressive from the outside, but inside I found that the aisles were devoid of any actual products.

Eg, the softdrinks aisle had only pallets of diet coke, two sorts of lemonade and some other weird softdrink. Where was my sparkling flavoured softdrinks, coke and solo? I was also rudely surprised that there are no dairy/refridgerated products, nor was there any paper plates or balloons. There wasn’t much in the way of food or core ingredients either…

So in the end I had to make that other stop in Gunghalin anyway, but only having to put up with the carpark that is Majura Road. Overall I lost a precious 45 mins, and thus have decided that I’m never going back out there again.

Genie 12:12 pm 29 Jun 11

I loved loved LOVED CostCo when I was living in America. I will be heading out there to do my grocery shop. I would also prob head to Woolies afterwards to get extra stuff Costco may not have.

I think it’s smart marketing.

Is there a Big W in Quangers?? Maybe it will also lure people from there to do there shopping.

kschoey 11:46 am 29 Jun 11

qbngeek said :

dvaey said :

qbngeek said :

I have already sorted my Costco Membership and my intention is to stop there on the way home from the farmers markets on a Saturday.

You might want to wait until theyre open.. you shouldve waited for that before you shelled out for membership, although at least you can still use your membership in Melbourne.

The membership does not take effect until the store opens adn expires one year after the store opening date. I was also of the impression my membership is only good for Canberra. I went to Melbourne with a friend that lives down there and he bought the stuff I wanted with my $$.

The membership is actually valid worldwide and even though the 12months start when the Canberra store opens, we were told we could use our card in Melbourne as soon as we signed up.

qbngeek 10:45 am 29 Jun 11

dvaey said :

qbngeek said :

I have already sorted my Costco Membership and my intention is to stop there on the way home from the farmers markets on a Saturday.

You might want to wait until theyre open.. you shouldve waited for that before you shelled out for membership, although at least you can still use your membership in Melbourne.

The membership does not take effect until the store opens adn expires one year after the store opening date. I was also of the impression my membership is only good for Canberra. I went to Melbourne with a friend that lives down there and he bought the stuff I wanted with my $$.

dpm 10:19 am 29 Jun 11

harvyk1 said :

jayjay said :

Your comments amaze me.
Woolworths is Australias largest retail operator. Do you think that they didnt do any homework before announcing this?
They would have researched this for a long time and know that they can/will make this happen.

No one doubts that they can’t / won’t make this happen… We’re questioning the motives as to why? Why would they build in the middle of no-where when other business have failed so recently, especially as there are multiple other closer Woolies \ Big W \ Dick Smith options closer to a very large majority of Canberra, and I doubt the nearby farming region has the numbers to support such things.

It would certainly be annoying (and also show how much they were ripping us off normally) if the new airport Woolies had much lower prices than all other Woolies in Canberra – just to compete with Costco.
If you think about it, surely they will have to be, or people would just go to their closer store for the same prices? There’ll have to be an incentive to make the trip there. But then, they are also ‘luring’ people closer to their new rival! Potentially dangerous territory for them if people decide to use Costco instead while they are out there. Woolies might be doing Costco a favour in all this! 🙂

harvyk1 10:00 am 29 Jun 11

jayjay said :

Your comments amaze me.
Woolworths is Australias largest retail operator. Do you think that they didnt do any homework before announcing this?
They would have researched this for a long time and know that they can/will make this happen.

No one doubts that they can’t / won’t make this happen… We’re questioning the motives as to why? Why would they build in the middle of no-where when other business have failed so recently, especially as there are multiple other closer Woolies \ Big W \ Dick Smith options closer to a very large majority of Canberra, and I doubt the nearby farming region has the numbers to support such things.

jayjay 12:13 am 29 Jun 11

Your comments amaze me.
Woolworths is Australias largest retail operator. Do you think that they didnt do any homework before announcing this?
They would have researched this for a long time and know that they can/will make this happen.

djk 10:01 pm 28 Jun 11

2620watcher said :

Future planning for when the farms on Majura Ave get carved up into 400sqm blocks……

250sqm blocks more like it, unless you are saying they will have giant, mansion-ready 400sqm blocks?

2620watcher 7:34 pm 28 Jun 11

Future planning for when the farms on Majura Ave get carved up into 400sqm blocks……

Golden-Alpine 6:56 pm 28 Jun 11

p1 said :

MissChief said :

If, however, they put something different out there that isn’t anywhere else, well then…

I reckon that the Bland Depot building would have made an awesome gokart venue.

Nice or Zone 3 (laser tag).

Golden-Alpine 6:54 pm 28 Jun 11

My prediction is that the 13,000 future development will be a Masters store, another Woolworths LTD business. You heard it here first people.

harvyk1 6:46 pm 28 Jun 11

Ryoma said :

In turn, what will our cities look lie if everything that was once geared towards funnelling us towards these centres (roads, public transport, and the location of other servcies) no longer holds true?

These centers will continue to exist, not everyone wants to wait a couple of weeks (or even a couple of days) for delivery, people will realise that they are paying for the convinence factor of getting the product now, the smart shops will point out that is what the extra cost covers.

Plus there is the social aspect to shopping which some people have. Chances are shops will do what they can to engage the social aspect, just look at tupperware, people hold parties to purchase a product where a similar product could be brought from woolies in 10 minutes at a similar price.

rosscoact 6:37 pm 28 Jun 11

Ryoma said :

What would most of the Westfields look like if they lost almost everything except women’s fashion and their food courts? If we think it cannot happen here, the USA has had plenty of malls go belly up in the past 5 years.

In turn, what will our cities look lie if everything that was once geared towards funnelling us towards these centres (roads, public transport, and the location of other servcies) no longer holds true?
Oops, still learning how to quote (blush)

I think perhaps Westfields are feeling this shift quite acutely, especially in Woden and I wouldn’t be surprised if there are more shops that go down the tubes in the next couple of years. Malls are populated by large retail chains and with A&R, Borders and Colorado in recent times it would appear that the cracks are starting to appear in even the large organisations. Malls cannot be immune.

The de-democratisation of cities is an interesting issue on so many different levels. I remember reading an article on this thirty years ago where the author postulated that the corporate owners of malls were deciding what was an acceptable code of behaviour and that was guiding people’s perceptions on what is tolerable in society.

But of course you are commenting on the outcomes of corporate behaviour guiding planners. Perhaps one day planners will get it right but like families they just aim at stuffing it up less than the last generation and only succeed in stuffing it up again.

Ryoma 5:38 pm 28 Jun 11

Oops, still learning how to quote (blush)

Ryoma 5:34 pm 28 Jun 11

rosscoact said :

Ryoma said :

I’m thinking that woolies is more concerned with their share price tomorrow than generational shift. They pay off the establishment of teh supermarket in a very short timeframe. It’s the airport that’s making the capital investment and they only care about developing every spare square metre of ground.

I agree with your summation of what they’re after immediately by building this new centre, rosscoact. But I wonder if any of the firms investing millions of dollars around the country (and us as consumers, taxpayers and citizens) realise what may lie not all that far ahead?

What would most of the Westfields look like if they lost almost everything except women’s fashion and their food courts? If we think it cannot happen here, the USA has had plenty of malls go belly up in the past 5 years.

In turn, what will our cities look lie if everything that was once geared towards funnelling us towards these centres (roads, public transport, and the location of other servcies) no longer holds true?

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