Club store packaging plays an important role in consumer shopping experience in a warehouse club store, which is a type of retail store dealing with variety of merchandise brought in large or wholesale quantities. Club store packaging involves merchandise in a warehouse club store being stacked on pallets to attract the attention of the consumers. Club store packaging is different than packaging for other retail formats like grocery stores or super markets. This is because warehouse club stores have evolved in the use of 80/20 rule. While 20 % of products in retail stores account for 80 % of its revenue, warehouse club stores stock only 20 % of these products. In traditional retail formats where packaging plays a role in highlighting and differentiating a particular brand from another, club store packaging attempts to differentiate a specific product from another.
In a traditional retail format like supermarkets where customers have option to select from wider range of brands, warehouse club stores on the other hand offer limited number of brands. Hence, a warehouse club store will focus on highlighting the functional aspects of a product like a cup of ‘Horlicks’ rather than focusing on the Horlicks brand name or logo.
Customers at a warehouse club store generally pay membership fees in order to shop at the store. As warehouse club stores are exclusive to its members, offering an enticing shopping experience differentiates warehouse clubs from other retail formats.
Club Store Packaging – Market Dynamics:
Club store packaging market is driven by strategies adopted by warehouse club store operators, primarily by three players Costco, Sam’s Club operated by Walmart and BJ’s Wholesale. Warehouse club store market in the U.S. generates revenue in excess of US$ 400 billion wherein Costco and Sam’s Club together generate sales of about US$ 140 billion. Costco is the largest player in terms of sales whereas Sam’s club has most number of locations.
One important challenge faced by club store packaging market is the prevalent use of corrugated paper material which offer strength and resistance but discourages the creation of attractive and appealing graphics that help in grabbing customer attention in the club store.
However, club store packaging can exploit this opportunity of creating innovative and attractive packaging products. Display ready packaging (DRP) and retail ready packaging (RRP) are such concepts that make club store packaging products more appealing. Retail ready packaging allows direct-to-shelf movement of merchandise with minimum requirement of handling while display ready packaging involves use of appealing and multi-color display graphics.
Recent trends in club store packaging have seen the use of recycled material to target environmental conscious consumers and the use of non-fluted paper to improve the printing capabilities. Few other trends observed in club store packaging are color blocking wherein individual packages are palletized to create a solid block of single color to be seen from distance, billboarding which involves creation of large continuous design by stacking pallets side by side and last is arrangement of pallets so that shopping is allowed from all three sides.
Club Store Packaging – Market Segmentation:
Club store packaging market is segmented into market segments and end use industry. On the basis of market segments, club store packaging serves business segment such as beverage, food, home care, health care, and personal care.
Market for club store packaging can be segmented according to the packaging type such as blister packaging, packaged to display quality box (PDQ) trays, cartons (bag-in-box), multi-packs, shrink wrapping, standup pouches, cans, trays, oversized club store packaging, bulk content packaging, custom fitted compartment and fully sealed packaging.
Club Store Packaging Market – Regional Outlook:
Geographically, the global club store packaging market can be segmented into North America, Latin America, Eastern Europe, Western Europe, Asia Pacific, excluding Japan, Japan and Middle East and Africa.
Club Store Packaging Market – Key Players:
Some of the major players supplying club store packaging products are PaperWorks Industries Inc., MSL Packaging & Fulfillment, Versatile Packagers, Transparent Container, Square Peg Packaging and Printing, Accurate Box Company, Assemblies Unlimited and Creative Displays Now.