Canadian shoppers hopping the border for savings at Costco

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BELLINGHAM, WASH. (CNN) — Many Canadians are taking advantage of the high Canadian dollar by shopping in the U.S. Cheaper milk and gas are two of the biggest draws. Now, some Americans are fed up with the cross-border crowd.

In Bellingham, Washington, they’re equating Canadian shoppers to voracious predators. “Milk piranhas” is their nickname — shoppers from the Vancouver area whose appetite for bargains can devour a pallet full of Costco milk jugs in seconds.

“Oh, it’s completely insane. I dread going, especially on the weekends when there’s more Canadians,” one Costco customer said.

In the U.S. border town, there’s suddenly a fierce debate regarding whether Canadian shopping is out of control.

“The lines are halfway down the length of the store,” one customer said.

A Facebook page suggests maybe there should be American-only shopping at certain times of the day to give locals a break. It points out bad parking jobs and some of the anti-Canadian comments are brutal:

“Canadians are obnoxious. I have never dealt with people who are so rude!”

“There’s absolutely nothing that we can say or do that will make you stop coming, so I’m just going to move.”

With Vancouver suburbs just 25 minutes away, it’s a quick, easy way for some to save a lot of money.

The anti-Canadian campaign has a few thousand “likes” on it, but aside from blowing off a bit of steam, it’s not expected to go very far.

“Over the last two years our sales tax generation has doubled or tripled the pace of the rest of the state. And it’s all almost entirely because of the Canadians coming south,” Ken Oplinger with the Bellingham Chamber of Commerce said.

Costco’s response is — it’s time to build a bigger store!

Bellingham police say Costco is paying for an off-duty officer to handle the parking lot crowd two days a week.

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