The warehouse club industry is unlike any other retail format. With its limited assortment of items, its out-of-the-box member service programs and, most importantly, its paid membership philosophy, BJ’s, Costco and Sam’s Club need to continually offer their members a unique, enjoyable and financially rewarding shopping experience. Club buyers and operators are constantly fine tuning their buying philosophy and changing their product assortment to better meet those member needs. Staying current on those adjustments is key for any club supplier.
Since 1998, club buying strategies have been reported on through our annual industry surveys. Supplier, broker and stakeholder responses to these surveys provide an interesting up-close viewpoint on what is happening not only on a “macro level” in the club industry but “in the trenches” between the buyer and vendor. This white paper summarizes the Fall, 2018 survey results. The number of responses to each of the open-ended survey questions is greater than what appears in the charts on the following pages. Many of the responses are similar and didn’t need to be duplicated.