Crazy! China’s First Costco Shuts Owing To Overcrowding!
Costco, the US wholesale chain, opened its first outlet in mainland China in Shanghai on Aug 27. It has built a cult following and got too crowded so that it had to shut down early on opening day.
Crazy Shoppers Crowd In
Inundated with eager shoppers throughout the morning that day, Costco sent messages to its members, saying that it would suspend business in the afternoon for security concerns and shopping experience. Besides the crowds in the store, there were traffic jams around the store. The parking lot was full and it took 3 hours to wait. Police were deployed to restore order and manage traffic jams, with law enforcement urging people to remain calm.
Still Popular The Next Day
Learning from the open day, Costco issued an apology on social media for Chinese customers the next day, and began limiting the number of shoppers in its warehouse to 2,000 at a time. In order to lessen the disturbance to neighbors, local police assist in improving traffic in the area. There were hundreds of people in line, though Costco said it has improved their internal guest flow system. It is said that people need to wait at least one hour to enter the store.
More Goods But Cheaper
There are a wide range of goods in Costco, including life supplies, food, clothing, digital products, and even luxuries. Shelves full of various commodities are eye-catching, while the real attraction is the price. It is reported that prices of general merchandise in Costco are 30 to 60 percent lower than market prices and the food sold there is 10 to 20 percent cheaper. Designer and luxury bags like Prada, Chanel, and Hermès are bought up quickly. Maotai, Chinese most popular liquor, costs even cheaper than the official price and has been sold out in half an hour.
Much less better and cheaper food and commodity. The following photo shows the crowds of people surrounding a roast chicken counter.
Big Potential Market
There is no doubt that the low prices created a commotion. Cost-effectiveness attracts consumers, which mainly are middle-class, to join and become members of Costco. Before the first physical store opening, Costco has had an online presence for five years in Tmall, which is one of the most popular Chinese online shopping platforms, through its partnership with Chines e-commerce firm Alibaba. With China’s rapid economic changes and growing online and offline retail industry, there is big market potential for wholesalers like Costco and Sam’s Club.
As for members, the membership-based retailing brings them a brand new consumption pattern and shopping mode. People can buy things much cheaper. People flood the store while It is weekdays, it seems that Costco needs to find effective ways to control guest flow for the coming weekend.