Washington residents push for closing Costco to Canadians
Shoppers at a Costco in Washington are taking issue with an influx of foreigners from Canada, and are asking store officials to ban them from shopping at the location during certain times.
People who frequent the store in Bellingham are getting upset that Canadians, who pay much higher prices for gasoline and kitchen staples like milk and cheese, are coming to the store in droves to take advantage of lower prices.
That is leaving some of the regular American shoppers out in the cold and angry that they are having to wait in longer lines at the pump while Canadians fill up vehicles and gas cans, and sometimes do without milk since the buyers from the north clear the shelves.
“It’s not Costco, it’s everywhere!!! I feel like I’m in Canada anytime I drive anywhere in Bellingham. I wouldn’t have a problem if they were considerate people … but they are the rudest people I’ve ever encountered,” according to poster Julie Lawson.
The administrator of the Facebook page, which had over 2,000 “Likes” as of Sunday, posted a message earlier this week telling Canadians they are not being blamed.
“To our Canadian friends on here that think we hate you: You have to look at the root of the problem. Bellingham has laws that keep big box companies from expanding. The overcrowding in this small, slow paced town has agitated people,” the note said.
Not to be out-done, Todd Smith, 25, of Coquitlam B.C., has launched his own Facebook page: “Canadians invade Bellingham Costco,” inviting Canadians to shop the Bellingham Costco on Saturday, Aug. 18.
“It’s a bit tongue-in-cheek, but we do go down there quite regularly and we might go down Saturday,” said Smith. “I find it kind of odd that these people would take such trivial things out of context. Have they not stopped to consider that we’re supporting their economy?”
The city’s mayor is against a ban, and leaders at Costco say there are no plans to prohibit any member – regardless of the country he or she lives in – from shopping at the store.