Report: Brands Bring Electronics Consumers into Warehouse Clubs

Port Washington, N.Y., Increasing numbers of consumers are exploring warehouse clubs and discount stores as viable options for making consumer electronic (CE) purchases, but not for all CE purchases, according to new report “Clubs and Mass: Tech Consumers Change Channels” from The NPD Group.

While there is willingness to shop at discount and warehouse clubs, actual purchasing still remains low. Among the 34% of consumers who said they shopped at a discount store over the past 12 months, only 23% actually bought something. Of the 14% who shopped at a warehouse club, only 10% made a purchase.

Most consumers are purchasing lower-end products at warehouse clubs and discount stores. According to the report, the highest instances of CE purchases at discount stores were for items selling for less than $200 and digital cameras selling for less than $400. Higher-end products, such as TVs and computers were under 10%. All CE purchases at warehouse clubs, higher and lower-end, were under 10%.

However, this is not a result of not trusting the brands being sold at clubs and discount stores. According to the report, 58% of consumers surveyed agreed that warehouse clubs offered trusted brands at a good price, the number rose to 65% for discount stores.

Only a quarter of the consumers surveyed expressed concerns that the brand name products being sold through these channels were inferior models or of lesser quality.