Please wait while the search results are loading...

Warehouse Clubs and Discount Department Stores Battle for Market Share, Business and Industry Trends Analysis

Walmart might as well be the first chain mentioned in this category.  Since its founding in 1962, Walmart has flourished to become the world’s top retailer by far.  How does the Walmart method work?  Primarily, it meets the simple needs of average consumers by using money-back guarantees, everyday low prices, merchandise that is rarely out of stock, ease of access and floor help trained to offer assistance.  Interestingly, Walmart was first conceptualized as a rural store—a modern general store if you will—located in smaller communities that lacked much in the way of local shopping facilities.  However, once it had conquered hundreds of small towns, Walmart branched out into major metro areas with astonishing success, and eventually took that winning formula into foreign markets.  What Walmart, Costco and other discount stores lack in profit margin, they gain exponentially in volume.
With the addition of substantial grocery departments, discount stores are taking customers, and therefore profits, from traditional department, grocery and specialty stores—today more than ever before.  (Walmart’s stores generate more than one-half of total revenues through their grocery departments.)  In general, discount stores are able to provide the convenience that mall-based department stores lack, while offering everyday low prices.  Walmart and its competitors have plenty of parking by the door, fast centralized checkout, easy returns and quality inventory that includes broad categories of name-brand merchandise as well as value-priced store brands of high quality.
Another interesting point is that discount stores attract a broad customer demographic.  People of all ages and incomes are shopping there.  It’s become commonplace to see luxury vehicles in Walmart, Target and Kohl’s parking lots alongside practical compact cars and light trucks.  Convenience, value and practicality are key motivators for shoppers.  Discount stores are superbly positioned to fill these needs.
Warehouse clubs especially saw skyrocketing business during the Coronavirus pandemic.  Shoppers consolidated buying trips to avoid catching the virus, making the variety of goods available at warehouse clubs all the more attractive.  Walmart’s Sam’s Club chain saw its sales up 11.1% in the third quarter of 2020 over the same quarter in 2019.  Ecommerce sales at Sam’s Club were up 41% from 2019.  Costco’s October same store sales rose 14.4% in 2020 over the same month in 2019.  Ecommerce sales soared by 91%.

A Representative List of Organizations that Have Used our Research and Products:


I’m amazed at how much information is available and the various ways to access it. This will be a major resource for our serious job seekers.

Career Services, Penn State University

Plunkett Research Online provides a great ‘one stop shop’ for us to quickly come up to speed on major industries. It provides us with an overall analysis of the market, key statistics, and overviews of the major players in the industry in an online service that is fast, easy to navigate, and reliable.

Wendy Stotts, Manager, Carlson Companies

I really appreciate the depth you were able to get to so quickly (for our project). The team has looked through the material and are very happy with the data you pulled together.

Hilton Worldwide, Marketing Manager

We are especially trying to push Plunkett since all of our students have to do so much industry research and your interface is so easy to use.

Library Services, St. John’s College

We are especially trying to push Plunkett’s since all of our students have to do so much industry research and your interface is so easy to use.

Gary White, Business Materials Selector, Penn State University

Your tool is very comprehensive and immensely useful. The vertical marketing tool is very helpful, for it assists us in that venue, as well as targeting customers’ competition for new sales…The comprehensive material is absolutely fabulous. I am very impressed, I have to say!

Tammy Dalton, National Account Manager, MCI

The more I get into the database, the happier I am that we’ll have it–REALLY happy!!! Between the quality and affordability of your product, its appeal to and value for our users, and the inestimably ethical and loyalty-guaranteeing conduct of your business, I will always have more than sufficient praises to sing for Plunkett Research.

Michael Oppenheim, Collections & Reference Services, UCLA

Plunkett Research Online is an excellent resource…the database contains a wealth of useful data on sectors and companies, which is easy to search and well presented. Help and advice on how to conduct, export and save searches is available at all stages.

Penny Crossland, Editor, VIP Magazine
Real Time Web Analytics