Sam’s Club Kicks Off China Expansion in Shanghai With Costco Hot on Heels
(Yicai Global) March 25 — American members-only warehouse retailer Sam’s Club plans to kick off a major expansion across China with a new Shanghai store as it looks to widen the gap with home country rival Costco.
The Walmart-owned firm will open a new store at the Shanghai Pilot Free Trade Zone next year, The Paper cited it as saying today. The store will cover 70,000 square meters and be Sam’s Club’s largest owned building in China, with sections for dining and catering, entertainment, daily living and education, and a car park with 1,100 spaces. Membership will cost CNY260 (USD36.74) a year.
Costco made a grand brick-and-mortar entry into China in August last year, when its maiden store in Shanghai attracted crowds so large the company had to refuse entry to many would-be customers as they flooded the store and cars jammed up the streets outside. Costco now plans to set up more stores in the country, including another in Shanghai.
Sam’s Club revealed just months before, while Costco was promoting its first offline China store, that it planned to have between 40 and 45 stores open or operational nationwide by the end of 2022. Headquartered in Arkansas, the firm entered China in 1996 and has 26 stores nationwide, with its latest Shanghai addition in Qingpu district last June.
Editor: James Boynton