hina’s first Costco opened on Tuesday morning in suburban Shanghai, only to close early in the afternoon as bargain-hungry shoppers swarmed the store.
Clips have gone viral on Weibo and WeChat showing the pandemonium and chaos that was the outlet’s opening day. Shoppers are seen standing in massive lines, making their way through jam-packed aisles, and even fighting over some poultry.
While shoppers were waiting in checkout lines for half an hour, Costco members were sent several text messages over the course of the day. First, telling them to avoid coming to the store at peak hours. Then, at around 2 pm, to not come at all.
Outside, a sign was set up warning those arriving by car that the parking lot was full and the wait would be three hours.
With opening day deals galore, this result might seem rather predictable, but it appears to have taken Costco by surprise.
Costco membership costs 299 yuan ($41) a year in China and the company is hoping to sign up at least 100,000 members. The American retail giant opened up shop on Alibaba’s Tmall.com about five years, but this is its first physical store in China.
Located in Shanghai’s suburban Minhang district, the outlet is quite massive, at 14,000 square meters and boasting 1,200 parking spaces, but evidently not massive enough.