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Who Buys Source

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, 2010

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, 55.6% were women and 44.4% were men.

GfK MRI, 2010

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, 9.7%; 25-34, 16.9%; 35-44, 20.1%; 45-54, 20.9%; 55-64, 17.0%; 65+, 15.4%.

GfK MRI, 2010

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+, 34.2%; $75-99,999, 17.7%; $60-74,999, 12.2%; $50-59,999, 8.4%; $40-49,999, 7.6%; $30-39,999, 7.1%; $20-29,999, 6.7%; under $20,000, 6.1%.

GfK MRI, 2010

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, 78.3%; Black, 9.2%; Other, 12.5%; Hispanic origin, 12.3%.

GfK MRI, 2010

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, 19.2%; Midwest, 19.2%; South, 34.4%; West, 27.2%.

GfK MRI, 2010

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, 21.1%; married, 64.1%; separated/widowed/divorced, 14.8%.

GfK MRI, 2010

Costco Wholesale has approximately 56 million members, while Sam's Club membership totals around 47 million and BJ's Wholesale Club has approximately 9 million members.

Hoover's, 2010

According to a 2009 survey by SymphonyIRI Group, 49.1% of U.S. households shopped in warehouse clubs during the previous year, up from 48.0% a year earlier.

SymphonyIRI Group Inc., 2009

Based on a 2009 survey by SymphonyIRI Group, warehouse club penetration by household income: Under $35,000, 34.3%; $35,000-$54,999, 49.4%; $55,000-$99,999, 57.5%; $100,000+, 66.3%.

SymphonyIRI Group Inc., 2009

When They Buy Source

Monthly share of sales for warehouse clubs and superstores (3-year average, 2007-2009): January, 7.4%; February, 7.4%; March, 8.1%; April, 7.8%; May, 8.6%; June, 8.3%; July, 8.3%; August, 8.5%; September, 7.7%; October, 8.2%; November, 8.9%; December, 10.8%.

U.S. Department of Commerce, 2010


How They Buy Source

Membership fees for the major warehouse club chains: Costco -- $50 annually for both business and consumer members and $100 for executive members. Sam's Club -- $35 annually for businesses, $40 for consumers,and $100 for plus members. BJ's -- $45 annually for both business and consumer members, and $90 for rewards members.

Warehouse Club Focus, 2010

A 2009 survey by SymphonyIRI Group showed that the average amount spent per trip to a warehouse club was $52.87, up 4.6% from the previous year.

SymphonyIRI Group Inc., 2009

According to a 2009 survey by SymphonyIRI Group, share of shopping trips to warehouse clubs, by purpose: Quick Trips (need it now, 1-5 items purchased), 49%; Special Trips (buying for a specific event, 2-10 items purchased), 20%; Fill-In Trips (routine fill-in for heavy-use categories, 5-15 items purchased), 18%; Pantry Stocking Trips (prepare for the coming week, 15 items or more purchased), 12%.

SymphonyIRI Group Inc., 2009

Manufacturers' coupons are a virtual non-factor at warehouse clubs, with only 0.1% of items sold on coupons.

SymphonyIRI Group Inc., 2009

What They Buy Source

Warehouse clubs stock approximately 4,000 to 7,000 products, with Costco at the lower end of the range, BJ's at the higher end and Sam's right around 5,000 items.

Warehouse Club Focus, 2010

During the past 15 years, warehouse clubs have increased the number of specialty businesses at their locations. These include one-hour photo finishing, optical shops, hearing aid centers, pharmacies, snack shops, gas stations, car washes and cellphone sales.

Warehouse Club Focus, 2010

Private-label products account for approximately 19.5% of total sales at Costco, 12.5% at Sam's Club and 10.4% at BJ's Wholesale.

Warehouse Club Focus, 2010

Costco is the largest seller of fine wine in the world, with sales of $597 million in 2009. 

The Associated Press, 2010

Share of consumer spending at warehouse clubs, by category: Center store, 59.3%; fresh/perishable items, 13.1%; frozen food, 10.9%; beauty/personal care products, 7.9%; health care items, 7.0%; general merchandise, 1.8%.

SymphonyIRI Group Inc., 2009

According to a study by Standard & Poor's, warehouse club inventories consist of 60%-70% general merchandise and health/beauty care products, with groceries comprising the balance.

Chain Drug Review, 2009

Where They Buy Source

The largest chain of warehouse clubs is Costco, with 2009 sales of $71.422 billion, a 1.5% decrease over 2008. As of mid-2010, there were 565 Costco locations in 40 states in addition to international stores.

Hoover's, 2010

Sam's Warehouse Club ranks as the second largest chain of wholesale clubs, with 2009 revenues of $46.700 billion, 0.5% lower than 2008. There were approximately 600 Sam's stores in 48 states, along with 135 international locations, as of mid-2010.

Hoover's, 2010

BJ's Wholesale Club is the third largest chain of warehouse club facilities, with 2009 sales of $10.187 billion, an increase of 1.6% over the previous year. As of mid-2010, there were 185 BJ's locations in 15 states, mostly along the Eastern seaboard.

Hoover's, 2010

Business Trends Source

The warehouse club industry generated sales of approximately $142.7 billion in 2009.

Warehouse Club Focus, 2010

The principle operators in the warehouse club industry are Costco Wholesale, Sam's Club, BJ's Wholesale, PriceSmart and Cost-U-Less.

Warehouse Club Focus, 2010

In 2009, merchandise sales accounted for 97.1% of Costco's total revenue, while membership fees made up the remaining 2.1%.

Warehouse Club Focus, 2010

Rapid inventory turnover, high sales volume and reduced operating costs enable warehouse clubs to operate at lower gross margins (8%-14%) than discount chains, supermarkets and supercenters, which typically operate on gross margins of 20%-40%.

Warehouse Club Focus, 2010