Soon after opening the doors of its first store in China, Costco was forced to shut them, as crowds flooded the premises eager to snatch up its discounted offerings.
Analysts believe Costco was welcomed with such enthusiasm because it was able to satiate China’s appetite for new concepts, at a time when its market maturity is ideal. There is a growing middle class in China that are interested in Western goods and items.
Costco prudently introduced itself to Chinese consumers five years ago, by selling its signature Kirkland products on a Chinese e-commerce site.
Analysts cautioned that consumers being excited on the first day doesn’t necessarily mean the company will see sustainable success. Previously, Amazon and Tesco have withdrawn from China after struggling to gain market share.
“It’s one thing to create strong demand and get consumers excited out of the gate, it’s another challenge to run a profitable long-term business in those markets,” said an analyst.
“Most times Costco moves into a new country, whether it’s been in Australia or Japan, or even France and Spain more recently, the first store openings tend to be wild and successful for Costco,” he said.