Industry experts have observed that there are several methods available to supermarket retailers that want to combat rising warehouse-club store sales:
promotions more creatively, not simply as a price-related activity. Ensure the promotion encountered is an actual promotion. Make sure promotions are mounted to build equity, not a short-term bump; promotions should be continuity efforts.
Add excitement with merchandising, sampling and new items. In-store theater works for some grocers, and clubs do offer surprises around every corner. However, consumers seek dependability and stability. They want to know the products they are looking for will be available week in and week out.
View category management as an opportunity to move beyond having manufacturers fill out a template. Category management can bring stores alive and identify opportunities. By applying marketing strategies and bringing them to the retail sales floor, supermarket executives can evolve category management into a leverage tool the warehouse clubs won't touch as they chase pure-price solutions.
Watch your pricing strategy as a reaction to club stores. Be selective with promotion efforts. Take deep cuts on key lead-traffic items used to attract customers year round.