ISSAQUAH, Wash. — A strong emphasis on consumables categories and an overall value image helped membership club stores Costco Wholesale Corp. here and BJ's Wholesale Club, Natick, Mass., thrive in the economic recession of the past year — and left them in good position for future growth, analysts said. Both chains reported quarterly sales growth last week, with strong gains in food items. “One of the advantages the clubs have is that their merchandising proposition screams ‘value’ to the ...

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