Private label programs are an important part of the merchandising strategy at BJís, Costco and Samís Club. Private label items not only provide each club with brand exclusivity but offer the opportunity for higher gross margins while maintaining product quality and value.
Costcoís private label program primarily concentrates on one brand: Kirkland Signature (see picture on the right of a one-gram bottle of Kirkland Signature organic la mancha Spanish saffron for $10.79). BJís private label program used to include as many as 19 brands in 2008 but the club operator primarily stocks two labels currently: Berkley & Jensen and Wellesley Farms. Samís private label program used to include as many as 11 brands in 2016. However, Samís Club reduced its private label portfolio primarily to one brand: Memberís Mark. However, for business members, it uses two secondary designations: Memberís Mark Foodservice and Memberís Mark Commercial.
This white paper is divided into ten sections: strategies, data overview, competing with a private label SKU, organic items, BJís program, Costcoís program, Samís program, private label at Cost-U-Less and PriceSmart, pricing analysis and observations. The data, pictures and observations in this chapter was gathered at BJís, Costco and Samís Club in January, 2019.