mega chaos on its opening day, China’s first Costco is hoping to keep things profitable but sane by enacting restrictions.ollowing Tuesday’s
The number of shoppers will now be limited to 2,000 at one time with security strengthened so that people won’t be able to simply force their way inside. Alert messages will be sent out to members whenever the store is nearing capacity.
Lured by the promise of bargain prices, thousands of shoppers swarmed the store, located in Shanghai’s suburban Minhang district, on its opening day. Videos quickly went viral online showing their way through packed-aisles and fighting over poultry.
A sign went up outside warning arriving shoppers that it would be a three-hour wait for a parking space. Inside, those attempting to checkout were forced to wait hours more. By 2 pm, Costco sent out a message informing its members that it would be closing early for the day.
While this kind of excitement is far from unheard of in China, it certainly appeared to have caught Costco off guard. The American retail giant opened up shop on Alibaba’s Tmall.com about five years, but this is its first physical store in China
Costco membership costs 299 yuan ($41) a year in China and the company is hoping to sign up at least 100,000 members. However, according to Shine.cn, after the initial excitement wore off, many customers ended up feeling unsatisfied with the prices at the outlet, complaining that, apart from ultra-cheap eggs, they weren’t much different from other grocery stores.
However, the store does have a secret weapon of sorts that separates it from other local supermarkets. Along with eggs, it also sells discounted luxury products from the likes of Prada and Chanel.