New trend sees Chinese influencers head to Shanghai Costco to pretend they’re in the US

Costco is beloved by millions of shoppers all over the world for having just about everything one could possibly need. For some, that includes the perfect backdrop to their photos, as Chinese influencers have recently been flocking to the stores as part of a new trend.

For the aesthetic: Influencers in China are posing just outside of Shanghai Costco, the country’s sole Costco location, to make themselves appear as though they’re in Los Angeles. The trend reflects the younger generation’s way of coping with travel restrictions due to the pandemic along with their interest in American culture, according to Quartz.

  • A viral Twitter post shows some of these influencers posing in shopping carts or by the store’s parking lot in photos uploaded to Chinese social media app Xiaohongshu.

  • Some have even included the captions “pretending to be in Los Angeles” or “back to the West Coast” — all in an effort to make their pictures appear “more exotic” but not necessarily misleading.
  • The Costco trend is merely the latest among a series where younger generations, tired of being at home, are hoping to capture the feeling of being elsewhere in the world.

For the love of Costco: Over 200,000 people signed up for a membership when the Shanghai store opened in 2019.

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  • The store was forced to close down within five hours of opening after it experienced an unexpectedly high volume of customers looking forward to browsing its aisles of bargain goods.
  • Videos from the opening day showed chaos erupting within the store, so much so that the company later released an apology and a pledge that it would limit the number of people allowed in.
  • A second store is expected to open next month in Suzhou, another eastern city near Shanghai.

Featured Image via Henry & Co (left), @giorgiomomurder (right)

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