|Last Quarterly Update:||2/3/2014|
|SIC Codes:||5399, 5411|
|Industry Overview||Trends & Challenges||Industry Forecast|
|Quarterly Industry Update||Call Prep Questions||Website & Media Links|
|Business Challenges||Financial Information||Glossary & Acronyms|
Companies in this industry operate membership retail stores that sell groceries, health and beauty items, electronics, and other merchandise; the majority of items are in a larger size or bulk quantity. Major companies include Sam's Club (Wal-Mart); Costco Wholesale; BJ's Wholesale Club; and Meijer (all based in the US).
The US warehouse club and superstore industry includes about a dozen companies with some 4,000 stores and combined annual revenue of about $410 billion.
Demographics and small business growth drive demand, and spending in warehouse clubs generally resists economic cycles. The profitability of individual companies depends on high volume sales, low-cost purchasing, and efficient distribution. Large chains dominate the market due to advantages in purchasing, distribution, and finance. The US industry is highly concentrated: the top four companies account for more than 90 percent of revenue.
Warehouse clubs differ from superstores by requiring a membership to shop. Superstores typically offer a wide range of products, while warehouse clubs offer a limited selection. Both types of retailers sell products across many categories including food, and both compete with grocery stores, mass merchandisers, department stores, drugstores, specialty retailers, and wholesalers. Some retailers, such as Wal-Mart, operate warehouse and superstores as well as traditional discount stores. Warehouse clubs have grown rapidly: industry sales increased by 115 percent between 2002 and 2012, compared to 46 percent for all general merchandise stores.
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