Tag Archive: Warehouse club



Meyers Research Center’s New Syndicated Research Program

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the Hispanic population represents 16% of total U.S. population and increased by 15.2 million between 2000 and 2010, accounting for over ½ of the 27.3 million increase in the total population of the United States.  Between 2000 and 2010, the Hispanic population grew by 43%, which was four times the growth in the total population at 10%.  By 2050, it is estimated that Hispanics will account for 29% of the population of the United States.

Retailers and marketers have been reacting to the opportunities presented by this growing target audience (implementing Hispanic shopper-marketing programs, expanding the availability of Hispanic brands/brands from shopper’s home country, establishing retail outlets to cater to the needs of this segment).  However, there remains a scarcity of information to help retailers and marketers understand the Hispanic shopper.

To this end, Meyers Research Center (MRC) launched the first wave of the Hispanic Shopper Close-Up Study at the end of last year.  This research provided valuable shopper insights into Hispanic consumers’ shopping behaviors, attitudes and decision-making patterns across 8 key retail outlets including Supermarkets, Hispanic Supermarkets, Mass Merchandisers, Warehouse Clubs, Drug Stores, Dollar Stores, Convenience Stores and Bodegas.

Highlights: General Shopping Behaviors

Where do they shop (shopped by half or more respondents)

  • Acculturated/Bicultural:  Mass Merchandisers, Supermarket, Drug store
  • Unacculturated:  Mass Merchandisers, Dollar Stores, Drug Stores, Hispanic Supermarkets
  • Non-Hispanics:  Mass Merchandisers, Supermarkets, Drug Stores

Shopping Frequency (# Of Channels Shopped Once a Week or More Often)

  • Acculturated Hispanics report fewer channels shopped vs. lesser acculturated Hispanics

Changes in Shopper Frequency Past 12 months

  • Hispanics report net increases over the past year in frequency of shopping most channels including: supermarkets, Hispanic supermarkets, mass merchandisers, dollar stores, c-stores and bodegas.  However, a net decrease has been reported for warehouse clubs and there has been no change in frequency of shopping in drug stores.

Highlights: Characteristics of a Recent Visit 

Key Store Selection Criteria

  • Hispanic shoppers choose a store primarily based on convenient location.  EDLP is more critical to acculturated Hispanics vs. other Hispanic segments.  No real differences identified for Hispanics vs. Non-Hispanics.

Planning the Store Visit

  • Planning is a key characteristic of Hispanic shopping behavior, with higher levels taking place for warehouse club and supermarket visits.  Across all channels, c-store and bodega visits are somewhat more spur of the moment.
  • Planning the store visit typically includes making a shopping list.  Other pre-store visit preparations include, clipping coupons and checking the store circular.

Most Common Trip Type

  • Across all channels, most shopping trips are routine stock up (particularly warehouse clubs) or quick trips to pick up a few essentials (particularly dollar stores).

Differences in Total Ring

  • Hispanic shoppers spend the most per visit in warehouse clubs ($145 on average), followed by mass merchandisers ($91 on average).  Transactions in c-stores, dollar stores and drug stores are smallest (roughly $25 to $30).
    • Unacculturated Hispanics typically spend the most each shopping trip but shop less frequently. Acculturated Hispanics spend the least each shopping trip but shop more frequently.

Means of Payment

  • Debit/Credit cards are most often by more acculturated Hispanics.  Unacculturated Hispanics are likely to use cash.

Lowering Prices at Checkout

  • Acculturated and Bi-Cultural Hispanics are highly engaged with store loyalty programs.
  • Coupons are most used by Bi-Cultural Hispanics and less by Unacculturated Hispanics.

Highlights: Product Purchase Decisions 

Level of Store Brand and Hispanic Brand Purchasing

  • Store brand purchasing is quite high across all channels and more common among acculturated Hispanics.
  • Hispanics will switch to a store brand if the name brand is not available and there is no perceived difference in quality.  This mostly occurs for food, snacks, beverages and household items.
  • Purchase of Hispanic brands and/or brands from the shopper’s home country occurs most with Bi-Cultural and Unacculturated Hispanics.

Level of Awareness for In-Store Promotions/Special Merchandising

  • Hispanic shoppers are highly aware of in-store activities for products purchased.  Greater recall is noticed among Bi-Cultural and Unacculturated Hispanics.

Impulse Purchasing

  • Hispanics show high impulse purchasing across all channels.  This is especially apparent among unacculturated Hispanic shoppers.
    • Price/promotion is a common trigger of impulse purchasing among Bi-Cultural and Unacculturated Hispanic shoppers.  Overall, price/promotion is revealed as a common trigger by most Hispanics compared to non-Hispanics.
    • Unacculturated Hispanic shoppers mention, just seeing a product in the store will trigger a specific need (for self, friend or family member) and ultimately the impulse to buy.

For More Information About This Study or To Purchase a General Comprehensive Report, Contact:

George E. Brown II


Jeff Friedlaender


Frances Glick


Wide angle view of BJ's Wholesale club in VA.

Image via Wikipedia

Membership Warehouse Clubs have been winning over customers from other retail channels with value, managed assortments, packaging, timeliness and innovation.

Meyers Research Center’s Membership Warehouse Club Close-Up Study has provided sponsors with deep and unique insights to help them position their products and brand within this channel.
This research is based upon an online survey, developed from shop-along observations of member behavior and purchase decision considerations.  The survey was completed by 2,914 members of one or more of the major warehouse clubs: BJ’s, Costco or Sam’s Club.  Each respondent was asked to provide information on up to two individual items they purchased for a total number of over 5,000 purchase decisions across a range of categories.  In addition, information was collected on demography, retrospective behavior, current attitudes/perceptions and future intentions.
Highlights: Membership Behavior and Attitudes  
  • Multiple membership is greatest among BJ’s members and least among Costco members.
  • 19% of members belong to 2+ Clubs. 
  • Many Costco members have paid for upgraded memberships to get rewards back.
  • Business memberships are proportionally greatest at Sam’s Club.  However, in this club the dominating membership is still consumer.  Also, seventy-five percent of club item purchases among business members are actually made for personal/family consumption or use.
  • Overall satisfaction with the Warehouse Club is high, though not without some room for improvement.  Costco club members are more satisfied than others.
  • Compared to BJ’s or Sam’s Club, Costco is perceived as the better place for discovery.
  • Shopping behavior can vary by club.  Seemingly small differences in retail policy (coupons/no coupons) leads to different shopping behavior, including pre-club preparation, visit frequency and basket size.
  • Club members do not want to give up quality just to pay less.  Club members reject the notion that they may need to sacrifice quality to get the best deal.
  • It might be argued that BJ’s is more national brand friendly because it accepts manufacturer coupons and permits more skus in its outlets than either Costco or Sam’s Club.  But all clubs now expend considerable effort on development of private label brands.
  • Club private label development remains variable by category.
Highlights: Key Attitudes Among Club Members
Suggestive of Opportunity 
  • Satisfaction is high, but not complete or uniform. 
  • The major clubs are perceived differently with respect to introducing new items, initiating product trends and quality of merchandise.
  • Member shopping behavior differs by club:  BJ’s and Costco members are more aware of incentives (coupons and limited time offers).
  • Club members generally are unwilling to sacrifice quality for lowest price.
  • Club members perceive the club trip as fill-in as opposed to complete shopping experience.
Highlights: Shopping Behavior
  • Over one-quarter of club members also seek bulk sizes in other retail channels.
  • Regardless of buying bulk elsewhere or not, most club members are interested in the savings to be derived from buying in bulk.  Only a minority have families or situations that actually demand bulk purchase.
  • One-third of club members would like to obtain more of the items they purchase in other stores at the club.  Forty percent of these cited a particular brand they’d like to get.  Also important are specific flavors, types, and variants.  Very few members want more variety for variety’s sake.
For More Information About This Study or To Purchase a General Comprehensive Report, Contact: gbrown@meyersresearch.com

RetailWire Discussion: Everyone Getting Into the Grocery Business.

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