Hong Kong bargain hunters flock to Shenzhen’s Sam’s Club for a shopping spree

In a surge of cross-border shopping, Hong Kongers are making the trek to Shenzhen’s Sam’s Club for unbeatable deals on items like roast chickens, laundry detergents, and bulk tissue paper.

Hong Kong residents are embarking on cross-border shopping sprees, catching buses and joining organized tours to visit the Sam’s Club outlet in Qianhai, Shenzhen. The warehouse store, part of the membership-only chain owned by Walmart, is proving to be a hotspot for bargain hunters in search of cost-effective goods.

The Sam’s Club, having opened its first outlets in mainland China in 1996, has grown to encompass 44 shops in 25 cities across the country. Hong Kongers are drawn to the spacious venue filled with a variety of products available at attractive prices. One shopper expressed the sentiment, stating, “You will feel happy about spending money here.”

Albert Lam Cheuk, a Hong Konger in his 50s, shared his experience loading up his trolley with decorations and snacks for the upcoming Lunar New Year break. Many items he purchased were recommended by various YouTubers, contributing to the perception that shopping at Sam’s Club offers value for money.

For Lam and his wife, this marked their second visit to the warehouse store, having taken a direct cross-border bus from Tuen Mun. Others are opting for organized tour groups, providing weekend trips for Hong Kongers to indulge in a shopping spree at the Shenzhen outlet.

This growing trend reflects an increasing inclination among city residents to explore retail choices in mainland China, further fueled by the allure of a robust Hong Kong dollar against the yuan. Travel agencies are capitalizing on this demand, offering curated trips that include transportation, food, hotel accommodations, and even a Sam’s Club membership card.

Over the weekend, EGL Tours, a prominent Hong Kong travel agency, organized a trip for 80 bargain hunters, aged between 60 and 70, to Sam’s Club. The excursion covered not only the shopping extravaganza but also included visits to popular sights in Dongguan, creating a holistic experience for the participants.

Shoppers on these organized tours are charged between HK$459 to HK$559, covering various expenses such as transportation, meals, accommodation, and a two-person Sam’s Club membership card. The rise in such excursions underscores the evolving retail dynamics and preferences of Hong Kong residents, signalling a cross-border shopping phenomenon that seems set to continue. As more individuals seek diverse retail experiences, Sam’s Club in Shenzhen stands as a beacon, offering both affordability and variety.