Hong Kong shoppers are crossing the border into Shenzhen to buy croissants and rotisserie chickens at China’s newest Costco

Hong Kong shoppers are crossing the border into Shenzhen to buy croissants and rotisserie chickens at China’s newest Costco

China has fallen in love with Costco, as evidenced by the uproarious response to its new Shenzhen location, which has already prompted cross-border pilgrimages and sparked store-centric travel packages since opening earlier this year.

More than 140,000 customers have visited China’s newest Costco since it opened in mid-January, a spokesperson for Costco told Business Insider, and buzz for the big-box store only continues to grow in the region.

Opening day alone saw more than 10,000 customers, according to the company spokesperson. Photos from the scene showed long lines and huge crowds as customers weaved in and out of the outlet’s towering aisles.

The new outlet is located in the city of Shenzhen, a southeastern metropolis that links China’s mainland to Hong Kong, offering residents of the special administrative region the rare chance to get lost in the aisles of a retail giant — after they cross the border from Hong Kong into mainland China.

A spokesperson for Costco said the Lunar New Year last month brought in scores of Costco customers, including those who made the trek from Hong Kong and particularly enjoyed being able to buy fruits, snacks, and other imported food products.

The most popular items purchased at the store, according to a spokesperson, are foodstuffs like butter croissants, muffins, rum pastries, rotisserie chickens, and the Shenzhen-exclusive Jumbo Bulgogi Bake.

People shop at the new store of Costco in Shenzhen.

People shop at the new store of Costco in Shenzhen, south China’s Guangdong Province, Jan. 12, 2024.

Xinhua News Agency



Large bulk stores are a rarity in Hong Kong due to the city’s limited space and expensive culture.

Obsession with the new Shenzhen location comes as Hong Kong’s massive retail market undergoes a shake-up, with wealthier locals fleeing the city and poorer Hong Kong residents searching for affordability.

Hong Kong’s economic struggles, however, have created the perfect circumstances for Shenzhen Costco to thrive. The store has become a popular shopping destination for both Hong Kong residents and other tourists in the region, according to a recent Bloomberg article.

More than 15,000 Hong Kong residents have already signed up for a Costco membership, the outlet reported, and both Costco and the country are jumping on board to help facilitate future visits.

Costco has organized several shuttle buses each day that run between the Shenzhen store and Hong Kong, according to a company spokesperson. Costco is also partnering with cross-border delivery companies that pack and ship items purchased by Hong Kong residents.

People queue to enter the new store of Costco

People queue to enter the new store of Costco on January 12, 2024 in Shenzhen, Guangdong Province of China.

VCG



The Shenzhen location is working with tech company Tencent Holdings LTD’s WeChat Pay HK, which is giving out coupons and cash vouchers via the e-wallet to help customers with Hong Kong-based bank accounts make purchases in the mainland, Bloomberg reported.

But the newest Costco — the sixth store in mainland China thus far — broadly appeals to the entire region.

A Taiwan-based travel agency is offering a vacation package that includes three hours of shopping at the Shenzhen Costco, a membership to the store and a five-star hotel stay for about $78 per person, Bloomberg reported.

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