The French, notorious for scoffing at most things American, have fallen in deep romantic love with Costco in a way only the French can.
According to The Atlantic, Costco’s first French location opened this past summer in Villebon-Sur-Yvette, outside of Paris. Twelve thousand people became new members in the first 10 days of opening. Writer David Gauvey Herbert describes the megastore to be very much like the the ones found Stateside: children running around, a hodgepodge of people from all walks of life and most importantly, bulk items.
The concept of buying in bulk and all things Costco, it seems, goes against French values. But as it turns out, no one can be dissuaded from deals that good. Herbert recounted watching children load a cart with cases of water bottles, and their parental figure telling another someone via videochat that a 40-case was selling for only €3.79 (USD $4.47). Even charcuterie at French Costco comes in bulk, vanishing quickly from the refrigerator cases. The Kirkland Signature Brut champagne, however, is left predictably alone.
Forbes reports that Costco was due to open another store earlier in Bussy-Saint-Georges. The township stopped the opening, but the company went on to open the Villebon-Sur-Yvette location. Bolstered by its initial success, Costco plans to open 15 more stores in the country by 2025.