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Shoppers Flock to Costco’s First China Store, Forcing It to Close Early

Executive Summary

On August 27, Costco opened its first store in China, in the Minhang district of Shanghai. The Coresight Research team visited on opening day and saw the store gain huge traffic, forcing it to shut early due to overcrowding.

  • Costco gained heavy traffic and customer flows: lines were formed before opening; consumers had to wait three hours for parking; average check-out time was about two hours. From August 28, Costco is introducing traffic control in the store.
  • Costco sold 160,000 membership cards on opening day. Members enjoy benefits including full refund of membership cancellation, free return and 90-day return of electronics.
  • Food and consumables are the most popular area to shop, with products priced around 10-20% lower than market prices.

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