Chaos Erupts As First Costco Opens In China

Chaos ensued after Costco opened its doors in China. The store opening had people so excited that they were fighting over food and items as if it were black Friday before internet shopping came about.

The first Costco store in China opened Tuesday in Shanghai, and the enthusiasm from customers was so great that the store had to shut down by the afternoon due to out-of-control crowds, according to the South China Morning Post.

Anticipation was so intense for the store’s opening that traffic leading into the store blocked streets and led to a three-hour wait — just to park. Customers who managed to get in were also subjected to two-hour wait times to check out when they were done shopping.

By noon, the store was begging customers not to come to the store via text message.

“The store has been clogged up with crowds. To provide you with a better shopping experience, Costco will suspend business in the afternoon,” a text message to members read. “Please don’t come.”

Shoppers reported that altercations broke out between customers fighting over items as upscale as Hermes Birkin bags and as simple as rotisserie chicken.”

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Jacky Chen, a Shanghai resident who visited the outlet, said local police ordered the suspension of business as it became increasingly difficult to control the crowds.

“It was chaotic as throngs of shoppers flocked to get some good bargains,” the 35-year-old white-collar clerk said. “There were bust-ups between anxious shoppers.”

Costco’s Shanghai outlet is set within a four-story building. Consumers have to pay 299 yuan for a Costco membership card that grants them exclusive shopping privileges.

The ground floor is taken up by the store and the remaining three floors provide parking spaces for some 1,000 cars, according to local media ThePaper.cn.

“I was working when suddenly I received loads of pictures from friends saying that people were trying every possible way to squeeze into the store,” said Joyce Shi, who works for a local publishing house.”

The store was only able to stay open until 1:40 as the crowds became too much for the store security to handle. Those must have some big sales to elicit such a rowdy crowd.

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