Photo: HECTOR RETAMAL / AFP / Getty Images
It was no surprise that the crowds at China's first Costco location would be large.
But the company was not prepared . .
The photos from the opening of the Costco chain site in Shanghai showed a clearer picture of the reports from China that a flood of buyers was clogging parts of the business and CNN reported that it was waiting in front of the warehouse had come three hours.
In the Meat Department – which included the ubiquitous Costco Roast Chicken – and on the food court, customers thrust their elbows and arms in all directions to pick up items.
According to CNN, according to the sheer amount of people, the store had to be closed prematurely for hours. In a text message sent to members, it is said in part, "To give you a better shopping experience, Costco will cease the afternoon business."
"Please do not come," the message apparently ended with a plea.
The madness was partly due to the strong discounts – there were only $ 28 in annual Costco membership – and unusual items offered to first-time Shanghai customers – the South China Morning Post said there were discounts on a number of luxury items, including Prada tote bags and MCM leather rucksacks, which reportedly also had Hermès' hugely popular Birkin bags (although the post office did not have a price for that) item).
And even if you've made it, a big ticket or even getting something on a smaller scale, like food, checking out was a nightmare. "If you manage to wait the three hours to get to the parking lot for example To get there and find a seat, employees warn customers that check-out would only take two hours, according to the Post.
All in all, the Costco could only stay open until 1:40 pm – just five hours after its opening.
"There is no other word that describes Shanghai's Costco than crazy," said one person on Weibo, China's microblogging site.
"It was chaotic when a crowd of shoppers gathered to make some good bargains," said a Post employee. "There were incidents between fearful buyers."
It's not clear what the schedule will look like for spectators returning to Costco's second day, but take a look at the slideshow above to get a sense of insanity from Tuesday.
Dianne de Guzman is Digital Senior Editor at SFGATE. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org | Twitter: @diannedeguzman