Wal-Mart opened its every-day-low-prices door in Shanghai last week — and if there is one thing Chinese love, it’s cheap stuff. More than 100,000 people — 100,000! — went to Wal-Mart on its first day, and only 10 people were injured. Chinese internet reports a near riot at the seafood counter when 10 people got into a brawl over a sale of fresh shrimp. “Many shrimp were torn to death” in the melee, reports one article. In other fun, two people reported “arm injuries” due to overcrowding and a 70-year-old man was treated for heat exhaustion in the parking lot. Shanghaiist will be avoiding the newly opened Wal-Mart for quite sometime, but should you want to venture into the madness, fellow blogger Wang Jian Shou has posted a nice little map.
Maybe you could ride the Wal-Mart bus … that is if you can find a seat. “I feel sad after the first four days since opening,” Shanghai Wal-Mart Operations Manager Li Qing Quan said. “I have had continuous complaints from customers. They complain that some items aren’t really as cheap as we claim and that there are not enough Wal-Mart buses to take them home. In fact Wal-Mart cannot make every single product cheaper then every other store.” Apparently Wal-Mart has its own bus system that trucks people in from outlying areas. But often there are not enough private Wal-Mart buses to take these people home. And then there are other complaints:
Ms. Xu just came out of Hua Lian Supermarket near Wal-Mart. She says, “I planned to buy my son a piece of pizza at Wal-Mart, but their price was 8.90 RMB. Hua Lian sells the same pizza for 7.80 RMB — and their cucumber is cheaper too!”
Ms. Xu, prepare yourself. The march of globalization, sameness and expensive cucumbers continues as Wal-Mart has further big plans for China.
Wal-Mart shoppers ready to throw down for shrimp (in Chinese)
Wal-Mart overcrowding leads to arm injuries (in Chinese)
Complaints about Wal-Mart are rolling in (in Chinese)
Also in Shanghaiist:
Wal-Mart sets up shop in Shanghai