It’s safe to say they like Costco in China
Who says Chinese consumers are souring on American products because of the trade war?
If they are, they must have looked the other way on Tuesday when the first Costco Wholesale opened in Shanghai, China.
The store opening was like Black Friday on steroids. Hoards of Chinese consumers poured into the store the second after it opened, pulling products from shelves as if they were free. A video from CNN showed them plucking rotisserie chickens from the deli as if they were the last cooked birds on the planet. Probably safe to say that Costco’s Kirkland Signature private brand products were among those flying off the shelves (“flying” in the literal sense).
While there was plenty of running and even some pushing and shoving, video revealed that the crowds were also orderly. It was a little crazy, but, hey, they were having fun.
Still, there were police blowing whistles to instill calm. In fact, according to CNN, local police deployed all forces to the store, who were heard shouting to the crowds to remain “rational.”
Police also had to issue warnings about traffic congestion around the store. And if you arrived at the store shortly after it opened, you had to wait for up to three hours for a parking spot. But people did.
Because the crowds kept coming, the Costco had to close early. The store sent a mobile alert to members saying: “To provide you with better shopper experience, Costco will suspend business in the afternoon. Please don’t come.”
“Please don’t come?” Surely, those are three words that 99.9% of retailers have never uttered.
According to CNN, Costco’s low prices appeal to China’s growing middle class. No doubt.
Back to the trade war and the boycotting of U.S. goods by Chinese consumers. According to a recent survey by the Brunswick Group, a global communications firm, 56% of Chinese consumers are boycotting an American product “to show support for China” during the trade war.
But on Tuesday at the new Costco in Shanghai, they surely weren’t boycotting Costco’s products.