High-income US Households Find Quality At Warehouse Clubs

According to new research from Mintel, though warehouse clubs are perceived to be the domain of those looking to stretch a tight budge, it is not just those of lower incomes having to ‘make do.’ 38% of high income consumers believe store brand or private label brands at warehouse clubs are comparable to name brand items in terms of quality, while 44% of households earning ≥ $150K think this way.

That’s the highest percentage of all income groups surveyed, compared to

  • 27% of those earning less than $25K
  • 36% of those earning $50-$74.9K
  • 41% of those with incomes between $100-$149.9K

And, continues the report, 40% of warehouse club users say warehouse clubs carry quality products, with 46% of households with an income of $150+ reporting as much. The number drops to 32% for those earning less than $25K, 41% of those earning $50-$74.9K, and 42% of those with household incomes between $100-$149.9K

Ali Lipson, category manager at Mintel, suggests that “… shoppers in this (high income) group… more likely to shop… a wider variety of retail stores… more aware of the price differential among retailers… ”

This market also might be immune to threat of online shopping, as 63% of Americans have shopped (in-store) at a warehouse club in the last six months, but only 25% have done so online, says the report.

Lipson note that “… a deterrent to online shopping in this channel could be… cost of shipping large items… prohibitive… (and) part of the appeal of warehouse club shopping is… discovering unique items throughout the store… warehouse clubs’ online model is unable to replicate this experience… ”

36% of warehouse club shoppers like finding unique items when shopping at warehouse clubs, increasing to 45% for women 55+. The least likely bargain hunters at 30% are women 18-34. More than half of warehouse club shoppers like to browse the selections, and 48% say it is worth paying the membership fee to shop at a warehouse club,”

Suggesting improvements, 11% percent of those surveyed said an app to navigate the store and find items would encourage them to visit warehouse clubs more often or sign up for a membership. And, 12% say that sales associates with handheld devices that can provide checkout anywhere in the store would increase their usage.

For additional information from Mintel, please visit here.


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