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Costco China already planning more stores

Within days of opening its first warehouse store, Costco China is already talking about its plans to expand the new network. 

As happens in many new market Costco enters, the new Shanghai store grew thousands of people, some of who queued for hours to shop, and then check out, while others spent a similar time in their cars circling the suburb seeking somewhere to park. In the afternoon, the store was closed due to crowding. 

Costco CFO Richard Galanti confirmed with analysts a second store is already in advanced planning and he hopes construction will start as soon as possible. 

The first store opened on August 27 in Shanghai’s Minghang district. It followed a four-year program by Costco to build brand awareness among local consumers through a presence on Alibaba’s Tmall Global. The company has a target of signing up at least 100,000 members to make the venture viable. 

While Costco expected to draw large crowds to the opening, the sheer numbers exceeded even the company’s most optimistic projections. A record number of customer membership registrations were taken for an opening day, however Galanti did not release the actual number.  

Costco China is looking to establish a beachhead in Shanghai before expanding into other tier-one cities. 

Trade tensions between China and the US appear not to be affecting the store’s early success, with Costco switching sourcing of some products from the US to Australian suppliers.

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