(Yicai Global) Sept. 2 -- Costco Wholesale is planning to open a second store in Shanghai next year or in 2021 after hordes of shoppers forced its first big box to close early on opening day last week, according to the membership-only retail chain's chief financial officer.
The State of Washington-based firm hopes to start construction as soon as possible and is also looking at opening stores in other Chinese cities, but all in good time, Richard Galanti told National Business Daily yesterday. Costco will need to make sure its first few stores can prove successful in the long run, he added.
It picked Shanghai for its maiden store as the eastern metropolis boasts a high standard of living and a large number of international residents, so demand for imported products is high, Galanti said. The firm's e-commerce store on Tmall also generates most of its business from Shanghai.
The move proved a smart one on its Aug. 27 opening day, when droves of shoppers flocking to the store led to traffic jams on nearby roads and ended up resulting in Costco closing early, which local authorities said was in the interest of public safety. Its hit popularity coincides with the likes of Tesco and Carrefour retreating from the Chinese market as they struggle to compete with domestic rivals.
Costco had been expecting a successful debut due to enthusiasm on social media and advance membership registrations, but had not anticipated just how heavy passenger flow would be, Galanti added.
Editor: James Boynton