Retail Success Stories: Club Stores

Costco released their earnings report earlier this month, leading to an all-time high stock valuation (over $207 per share). Costco’s net sales increased by 12% year-over-year with membership growth of 14%.

Forbes contributor Barbara E. Kahn reported on Retail Winners and Losers last week, and named Costco as one of the big winners. She demonstrates that Costco’s success can be analyzed using the Kahn Retailing Success Matrix. “What do customers want when they go shopping? Simply, they want to buy something they value (product benefits) from someone they trust (customer experience).” Kahn further proves that Costco can remain successful even as Amazon Prime membership continues to flourish.


I heard anecdotally about the declining trend in gum sales recently. There are many theories about the trend, most of which deal with shopping habits. When people perform their own self-check-out or shop online, there’s a much slimmer chance of the impulse buy while they stand in line.

But consumers are still shopping at club stores – where an impulse purchases can easily add $20 or more to the tab! The club store consumer is pre-qualified in the sense that they’ve already paid $50 or more for the pleasure of shopping at the store. As a consumer, once we’ve done all the work of parking and paying to shop, you’re 100 feet into the store before you see the check-out line. If it’s Saturday in my town, you know you’ll be there for a while. Who hasn’t explored the store to find something new to try?


Brands eager to take advantage of this pre-qualified consumer audience can follow a plan to launch trials and full rollouts new products. We’ve produced a “Club Store Packaging Guide” to streamline your strategy with tips to help you:

  • Design Packaging and Displays
  • Prepare for the Trial Run
  • Advance to Full Rollout


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