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- China’s first Costco location opened in Shanghai on Tuesday.
- Costco tweaked its food court menu to match local tastes, adding mango soft serve and seafood pizza to the menu alongside its iconic hot dog.
- Costco had to shut down the store early due to massive crowds flooding the warehouse.
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The sole Costco location in China had a chaotic first day of business, with thousands of people trying to shop at the iconic bulk retailer during its grand opening.
Costco was forced to shut down the grand opening of its Shanghai warehouse early due to massive turnout. Customers were eager to get their hands on Costco classics at the company’s first location in China, including rotisserie chickens and enormous teddy bears.
The food court was serving up beloved Costco options including its iconic hot dog.
However, in typical Costco fashion, the company also added some new menu items to match local tastes.
New options included a coconut smoothie and mango soft serve.
According to Natalie Judd, a Costco member who was at the Shanghai opening, Costco’s food court was serving combo, Hawaiian, and seafood pizzas. The seafood topping appeared to include mini shrimps, according to Judd.
While some toppings were new, the Costco pizza boxes were a familiar sight for any Costco shopper.
Judd said that the store was chaotic, but she managed to pick up some groceries, including microwave popcorn, hot dogs, Tillamook cheese, and protein powder.
"So many of the American articles I’ve seen written in advance of the opening asked the question if Costco and the bulk buying market can survive in China," Judd told Business Insider via Twitter DM. "I was shocked by the turn out on opening day today. It was 99% Chinese locals. Western faces were few and far between."
"In the second largest metro region in the world, and with the turnout large enough to lock the doors midday, I think those authors have a pretty good early indicator about Costco’s longevity," Judd added.
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