Sam’s Club and its two major competitors, Costco Wholesale Corp. and the privately held BJ’s Wholesale Club, are in a battle for customers. For many the choice comes down to cost. Price isn’t the only factor, but if one of the three were appreciably more expensive, customers would be scurrying for one of the others. Wholesale clubs don’t attract customers with frills — all are pretty stark with a warehouse-like environment — and having items for sale at the lowest possible price is the differentiator between these stores and traditional low-cost retailers like Wal-Mart or Target .
Ask six senior merchandising executives from Walmart and Sam’s Club what keeps them up at night and be prepared for an interesting collection of answers relating to key competitors and assorted challenges.
SAN FRANCISCO — Amazon.com is working on a new business called Pantry that will help it expand further into the giant consumer package goods market and take on warehouse club stores Costco and Wal-Mart’s Sam’s Club, according to three people familiar with the effort.