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Costco to close on Lunar New Year's Day, rivals stay open

2018/01/30 21:11:52

Taipei, Jan. 30 (CNA) Costco, an American membership-only wholesale club, has decided to close on Chinese New Year's Day and will be the only hypermarket chain in Taiwan to close that day with its rivals choosing to remain open.

Costco Taiwan Vice President Wang Yu-mei (王友玫) said the decision to suspend services on Lunar New Year's Day, which falls on Feb. 16, is so employees can enjoy the New Year holiday.

This is be the first time Costco has closed its outlets island-wide on New Year's Day in more than a decade. It did so once before about five years after entering the Taiwan market in 1997, but has remained open 365 days a year since.

Wang said, in the future Costco Taiwan plans to close its 13 outlets every Lunar New Year's Day.

Despite the announcement from Costco, competitors such as RT-Mart, a.mart and Carrefour, said their stores will remain open on Chinese New Year's Day as they provide daily services throughout the year.

Some netizens have praised Costco's move on Facebook, saying employees in the local service sector deserve a break on such a special day.

Other netizens said they hope more hypermarket chains will follow suit and improve their employees' quality of life by allowing them to spend more time with their families.

In addition to suspending services on Feb. 16, Costco will also cut short its business hours on New Year's Eve, operating 9 am. to 6 p.m. as opposed to normal weekday business hours of 10 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.

On the second day of the Year of the Dog, on Feb. 17, business hours at Costco outlets around Taiwan will return to normal, from 10 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. RT-Mart's and a.mart's business hours will return to normal on Feb. 16 after a shorter business day on Lunar New Year's Eve, while Carrefour will have shorter business hours on Feb. 15-16 with operations returning to normal the following day.

(By Cheng Cheng-wei and Frances Huang)