US supermarket giant Costco has been hit by a wave of membership withdrawals in China just a week after it made a roaring debut in Shanghai.
As the store is located in suburban Shanghai, with no close public transportation, some customers complained about the inconvenience to shop there and that it offered no big price difference compared to other supermarkets in China, according to the report.
Costco, well known for its low prices and quality goods, benefits a lot from membership fees. Also up to now, shoppers have still had to wait for a long time to enter the Costco store to buy goods due to heavy crowds.
Costco said it had registered more than 100,000 members in Shanghai.
Still, CCTV also noticed that Kweichow Moutai liquor priced at 1,498 yuan in the store's first three days of operation has sold out, while Wuliangye liquor increased its price from an initial 919 yuan to 1,069.9 yuan.
Costco's first Shanghai outlet opened last Tuesday, drawing so many customers that the company had to enforce a crowd limit just two and a half hours after it opened. Roads in the vicinity were also jammed due to the number of people flocking to the store. Costco did not disclose the number of customers who visited the store on Tuesday.
Located in Minhang district, the Shanghai outlet occupies about 14,000 square meters and has 1,200 indoor and outdoor parking spaces.
Costco is the world's largest membership-only retailer. Walmart, the world's largest retailer, has opened 26 membership-based Sam's Club stores in China. The latest was opened in northern Shanghai in June, only 10 km from Costco Shanghai.