Recent reports say Amazon is considering buying the third largest wholesale club in the US, BJ’s, in a bid to gain access to its brick-and-mortar store network. BJ’s has established retail presence in some of the most competitive markets in the US: the expensive East Coast suburbs of Boston, New York, and Philadelphia. An Amazon merger would launch an aggressive expansion plan against grocers and warehouse clubs that have traditionally lagged in omnichannel and e-commerce site capabilities.
Of the 18 grocery and warehouse club brands studied in L2’s 2016 Big Box report, just 50% offered curbside pickup with even fewer delivering goods to home. Features such as wish and shopping lists oriented towards increasing transaction rates were the exception rather than the norm, with just one third of brands possessing that capability. And Sam’s Club was the only grocery or warehouse store to have implemented the “Subscribe and Save” to facilitate loyalty through repeat transactions.
Given the speed and intensity with which Amazon has moved into other retail sectors, brands should be actively and aggressively working to improve their omnichannel experience.