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Who Buys Source

A 2014 survey by Mintel found that 63% of Americans have shopped in-store at a warehouse club in the previous six months, while only 25% have done so online. 

Chain Store Age, 2014

Based on a 2014 Mintel survey, percentage of shoppers who believe that warehouse club products are on par with leading brands in terms of quality, by income group: $150K+, 44%; $100,000-$149,999, 41%; $75,000-$99,999, 38%; $50,000-$74,999, 36%; less than $25,000, 27%. 

Chain Store Age, 2014

Profiling adults 18+ who shopped at either a Costco, Sam's Club or BJ's Wholesale Club from 1-3 times in the past 30 days:

GfK MRI, 2013

Of those adults 18+ who shopped at either a Costco, Sam's Club or BJ's Wholesale Club from 1-3 times in the last 30 days, 55.3% were women and 44.7% were men.

GfK MRI, 2013

Adults 18+ who shopped at either a Costco, Sam's Club or BJ's Wholesale Club from 1-3 times in the past 30 days, by age level: 18-24, 10.3%; 25-34, 16.5%; 35-44, 18.1%; 45-54, 20.1%; 55-64, 17.7%; 65+, 17.3%.

GfK MRI, 2013

Adults 18+ who shopped either a Costco, Sam's Club or BJ's Wholesale Club from 1-3 times in the past 30 days, by income bracket: $100,000+, 34.0%; $75-99,999, 16.1%; $60-74,999, 11.8%; $50-59,999, 8.5%; $40-49,999, 7.6%; $30-39,999, 7.5%; $20-29,999, 6.8%; under $20,000, 7.7%.

GfK MRI, 2013

Adults 18+ who shopped at either a Costco, Sam's Club or BJ's Wholesale Club from 1-3 times in the past 30 days, by race: White, 77.2%; Black, 9.5%; Other, 13.3%; Hispanic origin, 13.2%.

GfK MRI, 2013

Adults 18+ who shopped at either a Costco, Sam's Club or BJ's Wholesale from 1-3 times in the last 30 days, by region: Northeast, 18.6%; Midwest, 19.1%; South, 34.5%; West, 27.8%.

GfK MRI, 2013

Adults 18+ who shopped at either a Costco, Sam's Club or BJ's Wholesale Club from 1-3 times in the last 30 days, by marital status: Single, 22.2%; married, 62.0%; separated/widowed/divorced, 15.8%.

GfK MRI, 2013

Based on a 2013 study by Kantar Retail, the average age of Costco business members was 48.3 years, while individual consumer members averaged 49.3 years. For Sam's Club, the average age of business members was 49.7 years, with individual consumer members averaging 48.0 years.

Kantar Retail, 2013

According to a 2013 study by The Media Audit, nearly one in four Affluent Empty Nesters -- those earning $75,000 or more in household income and with children living at home -- shop at Costco. The report also showed that Affluent Baby Boomers -- those between the ages of 45 and 64 with incomes of $100,000+ -- shop at Costco at a rate that is 45% higher than the general population.

The Media Audit, 2013

A 2013 survey by The Media Audit found that among Costco shoppers, almost 30% are Hispanic and 14.4% are Asian.

The Media Audit, 2013

According to a 2013 survey by Kantar Retail, the average age at which shoppers originally signed up for a Costco business membership was 29.6 years, and 33.6 years for an individual consumer membership. For Sam's Club, business club members initially signed up at 32.8 years of age, while individual consumers averaged 33.1 years when they first signed up.   

Kantar Retail, 2013

When They Buy Source

Monthly share of sales for warehouse clubs and superstores (3-year average, 2011-2013): January, 7.4%; February, 7.7%; March, 8.3%; April, 8.0%; May, 8.4%; June, 8.2%; July, 8.2%; August, 8.5%; September, 7.8%; October, 8.2%; November, 8.9%; December, 10.4%.

U.S. Department of Commerce, 2014

According to a 2014 survey of more than 2,500 warehouse club shoppers, conducted by VideoMining Corp.,  64% visited warehouse club stores every 1-2 weeks, while 29% shopped every month, and 5% visited less than once a month. 

VideoMining Corp., 2014

Why They Buy Source

A 2014 survey of more than 2,500 warehouse club members, conducted by VideoMining Corp., asked the respondents what was the most important factor for choosing a particular store (more than one answer possible): Location, 57%; price, 39%; variety, 39%; familiarity, 36%; superiority, 31%.

VideoMining Corp., 2014

Based on a 2014 survey by Mintel, 36% of warehouse club shoppers agree that they like finding unique items when visiting warehouse clubs. This number increases to 45% for women 55+, while the least likely bargain hunters, at 30%, are women ages 18-34.

Chain Store Age, 2014

According to a 2014 survey of 2,500+ warehouse club shoppers, conducted by VideoMining Corp., 70% of business members' purchases are for personal, not business use.

VideoMining Corp., 2014

Based on a 2014 survey of more than 2,500 warehouse club members, conducted by VideoMining Corp., 48% of the respondents believe that all warehouse clubs are not the same.

VideoMining Corp., 2014


What They Buy Source

Major products sold by warehouse clubs are: groceries (35% of revenue); drug, health and beauty aids (10%); TVs, DVDs, video cameras and other electronics (5%); and prescriptions (4%). Other items include cleaning products and appliances. Most products are available only in large sizes or bulk quantity. Warehouse clubs may also have onsite gas stations, pharmacies, optical centers or food courts.

Hoover's, 2014

A 2014 survey of 2,500+ warehouse club consumers, conducted by VideoMining Corp.,  showed that regular consumer memberships are the most common types, with 60% of the survey participants owning one.

VideoMining Corp., 2014

A 2014 survey by Market Force Information found that Kroger ranked as consumers' favorite retailer at which to buy gas, with Costco and QuikTrip tied for second and Sam's Club listed next. Costco actually ranked first in the Western region of the U.S.

Market Force Information, 2014

Where They Buy Source

The largest chain of warehouse clubs is Costco, with 2013 sales of $105.2 billion, a 6.1% increase over 2012. More than half of the company's revenue is derived from the sale of sundries, food and fresh food. As of mid-2014, there were 640 Costco locations in 40-plus states in addition to international stores.

Hoover's, 2014

Sam's Warehouse Club ranks as the second largest chain of wholesale clubs, with 2013 revenues of $56.4 billion, 4.9% higher than 2012. There were 620 Sam's stores in 48 states, along with more than 100 international locations, at the start of 2014.

Company Reports, 2014

BJ's Wholesale Club is the third largest chain of warehouse club facilities, with 2013 sales of $13.0 billion, an increase of 4.9% over the previous year. At the start of 2014, there were just over 200 BJ's locations in 15 states, mostly along the Eastern seaboard.

Company Reports, 2014

A 2014 survey of more than 2,500 warehouse club shoppers, conducted by VideoMining Corp., found that 23% of the responding consumers belonged to more than one club.

VideoMining Corp., 2014

Business Trends Source

The warehouse club industry, when combined with superstores, generate annual sales in the range of $400 billion.

First Research, 2014

Gross margins for warehouse clubs are generally 8% to 14%.

Warehouse Club Focus, 2014

Research by Warehouse Club Focus determined that the average Costco location generated sales of $3.11 million per week in 2012, while Sam's Club stores averaged sales of $1.50 million a week.

Warehouse Club Focus, 2014

Demographics and small business growth drive demand, and spending in warehouse clubs generally resists economic cycles, according to a 2014 study by First Research.

First Research, 2014