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The high cost of a 'cheap' retail chain

The high cost of a 'cheap' retail chain

A planned invasion by US discounter giant Costco will harm the local economy, Green MP Mike Ward warned today.

The Green's Small Business and Buy Local spokesperson is concerned at a possible move by the retail empire to the New Zealand market, after senior Costco executives investigated potential store sites in Auckland last weekend.

Mr Ward strongly urges these moves be resisted for the sake of the New Zealand economy because Costco's greater bulk-buying power for cheaper foreign goods will seriously threaten local manufacturers and smaller retailers.

"As the law stands, there is nothing to stop Costco and other multinational retail chains from muscling in and building giant stores," said Mr Ward.

"The only hope against New Zealand businesses being squeezed out is for New Zealanders to spend their money in New Zealand-owned businesses on New Zealand-made products."

Mr Ward lamented claims from The Warehouse that Costco would be a "wonderful addition" to our markets.

"Walk down any small town mainstreet and see what the Warehouse has done by peddling cheap foreign products in bulk. That sort of comment shows how inconsistent Stephen Tindall's operation is with the values he claims to espouse.

"Local businesses are struggling to make a living and pay decent wages for their staff while the Warehouse and Costco cream large profits off the back of small communities."

Mr Ward says the Green Party, as originators of the Buy Local movement, will continue to promote the value of New Zealanders producing and using quality locally-made products.

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