Australian retail wars: Costco to launch online shopping

Australian retail wars: Costco to launch online shopping

The discount retail wars are heating up with confirmation Costco will begin a delivery service for customers who want to shop over the net.

The move to online is expected by the end of the month and will affect prices.

Members-only wholesaler Costco will launch e-shopping and delivery from its website later this month.

Online prices will be slightly higher than those in the warehouse as delivery costs will be built-in ahead of the check-out.

Retail experts say this is no surprise - and if anything - the company has left the move too late.

“Customers are more and more living our lives digitally on our phones, shopping online, we've had Amazon come in - to me it's a great move, but maybe a little bit later than what we might have expected,” Eagle Eye general manager Jonathan Reeve said.

Essentially, they've had to bow to inevitable pressure in the sector, particularly from Amazon.

It's expected all retailers will eventually follow suit if they want to keep up.

“I believe eventually every retailer with stores is eventually going to have to connect digitally with customers and move online,” Mr Reeve said.

As an extra sweetener Costco intends to sell exclusive products online that won't be available in-store.

Members don't have access to the service yet but will be notified when the site is live.