Tuesday morning was a source of excitement for the Chinese population in Shanghai as they welcomed their first Costco store. The American leviathan wholesale warehousing chain had enjoyed an online presence in China through Alibaba for the past five years but this is their first corporal store in the country. Costco Wholesale Corporation, a popular American MNC, follows a concept of membership-only warehouse clubs in multiple nationalities and is the largest retailer after Walmart. Costing 299 yuan ($42), the membership cost in China is considerably cheaper than US’s $60 membership fee.
The enthusiasm towards this opening was clear in Shanghai as the city police had to be deployed towards the afternoon in order to control the massive crowd swarming the store and the store was forced to shut down towards the afternoon as this uncontrolled exhilaration proved to be too much.
"The store has been clogged up with crowds," Costco said in a text message alert to its members in China. "To provide you with a better shopping experience, Costco will suspend business in the afternoon. Please don't come."
It is yet to be seen if the brand manages to maintain its initial popularity in the long run and if it can contend against global competitors like Walmart and even the indigenous competitors. With the tepid economic conditions present in the country, and the rising popularity of online shopping, Costco the future of the brand is unpredictable.