Costco employees Karen and Lauren prepare for the Bundamba store opening this year.
Costco employees Karen and Lauren prepare for the Bundamba store opening this year. Rob Williams

2018 is the year of American retailers in Ipswich

IT'S the year of American retailers in Ipswich.

Expanding populations, significant housing booms and infrastructure growth has sparked the interest of overseas companies and they're moving in.

Warehouse giant Costco is expected to open at Bundamba before the end of 2018, with significant impact on the local fuel and grocery market.

It's good news for consumers and complimentary businesses but Costco represents a lot of healthy competition for other businesses which already have a hold on the market.

University of Southern Queensland marketing and consumer behaviour researcher Dr Rumman Hassan warns Costco will have serious effects, both positive and negative, on more than just the local retail market.

Workers, shoppers, businesses, suppliers and even fuel stations are in line to face the 'Costco effect'.

"That emanates from the fact Costco is such a big player, everything they do is grand, it's big, they take large scale to a whole new level and this intimidates a lot of the smaller players," Dr Hassan said.

Costco managing director Patrick Noone said the warehouse would stock all the latest products from the US, including seasonal items such as Halloween and Christmas decorations.

In the meantime, local consumers can get a taste of the super-sized American culture when the grills at burger chain Carl's Jr Burger fire up at Redbank Plains and One Mile.

The first store at Redbank Plains will open on January 18 alongside the fresh Krispy Kreme drive-through store, while plans are in place for a second Carl's Jr Burger to open at One Mile shortly after.

Both stores were initially expected to open in late 2017 but weather hampered construction and pushed opening dates into the new year.