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August 21, 2019

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Retail giant Costco cashing in

Costco’s first China store opens in Minhang District next Tuesday, with the US membership-based retailer hoping to grab a share of the nation’s booming consumer market.

China will be a key focus of the US company and the Shanghai store’s performance will serve as a gauge for it to assess whether to push deeper into the Chinese market, said Richard Zhang, senior vice president for Costco Asia.

Prices at the Minhang store will be lower than its online store on Tmall, the company said.

It already has “tens of thousands” of members from all districts in Shanghai.

And it is aiming to have 100,000, said to be a critical point to sustain the future development of a physical outlet, with the majority of frequent buyers living within 30 to 45 minutes’ driving distance.

Costco’s membership fee will be 199 yuan (US$28) a year until Monday, compared with the normal price of 299 yuan.

Zhang said the company will be seeking to assess the impact on imported goods from the US had tax been imposed on these items and will be looking for replacements from other parts of its operation.

The 14,000-square-meter store also comes with a tire service as well as fresh food.


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