The Haves Spending More in Clubs
By George Anderson
The lure of great deals on bigger ticket items, from flat screen televisions to fine art, has many affluent consumers willing to pay the membership fee price of admission to Costco, Sam’s and BJ’s, according to the latest issue of Retail Forward’s ShopperScape newsletter.
With the greatest number of stores, Sam’s has the most access to affluent consumers. Thirty-eight percent of consumers identified as “Up Market” by Retail Forward who possess a warehouse club membership belong to Sam’s. Costco, with fewer stores but a more upscale appeal, has 33 percent of the affluent club member population shopping in its warehouse locations. BJ’s has 11 percent.
Source: Retail Forward ShopperScape
The average purchase by “Up Market” shoppers is $148, according to the research.
As a point of comparison, “Middle Market” and “Down Market” shoppers spend $120
and $129 on each trip to a club.
The vast majority of purchases made in clubs, according to shoppers, is for personal purposes. Eighty-five percent of those in the “Up Market” designation say that is what brings them to clubs.
Most affluent club members report they are spending about the same in clubs this year compared to last. Those spending more (21 percent) and less (19 percent) are roughly even.
Moderator’s Comment: What do you see as the relevant
strengths and weaknesses of the three major membership warehouse clubs? How
will changes in the population (age, ethnicity, etc.) impact clubs in the future
and what will BJ’s, Costco and Sam’s need to do to be successful in light of
the changes taking place? –
George Anderson – Moderator