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    Wholesale Clubs Stealing Grocery Share of Holiday Spend

    Thanksgiving spending at traditional grocers was stagnant: study

    If Thanksgiving was any indication, traditional grocery retailers will continue to lose share to wholesale clubs this holiday season.

    That’s according to the latest Bank of America Consumer Spending Snapshot, which recently released its November findings on travel, retail and grocery. The trends are based on November transaction and spending data from Charlotte, N.C.-based Bank of America’s more than 40 million active credit and debit customers.

    More Consumers Gobble Up Wholesale Savings

    During the Thanksgiving month, consumers spent 2 percent more per active account at grocery stores than in November 2015, after spend was flat from 2014 to 2015.

    Spend per active account at mass-market chains decreased by 2 percent year over year, while wholesale club spend grew 22 percent during that time, after growing only 4 percent from 2014 to 2015.

    Transactions at mass-market grocery stores were flat year over year. However, wholesale transactions grew 16 percent per active account during that time, after growing 5 percent from 2014 to 2015.

    “Wholesale clubs are biting into mass-market grocery’s market share in terms of both spend and transactions,” the survey reported.

    In November 2016, mass-market grocery made up 75 percent of all grocery spend, down from 78 percent in 2015. Meanwhile, wholesale clubs represented 18 percent of the total grocery spend in November 2016, up from 15 percent in 2015.

    Mass-market grocery represented 85 percent of all grocery transactions in November 2016, down from 86 percent in 2015. Meanwhile, in 2016 wholesale clubs made up 7 percent of grocery transactions, up from 6 percent in 2015.

    Retail Sees Web Shop Up, Store Shop Down

    With the annual holiday shopping season commencing in November, retail spend per active account increased 2 percent compared with November 2015, and 3 percent from 2014 to 2015.

    Retail transactions, however, were flat from 2015 to 2016, after increasing 5 percent from 2014 to 2015.

    Online retail spend per active account increased by 23 percent year over year in November, after increasing 13 percent from 2014 to 2015. Meanwhile, retail shopping spend at point of sale decreased 3 percent from 2015 to 2016, after saying flat from 2014 to 2015.

    Online retail transactions per active account increased 22 percent year over year after increasing 19 percent the year before. Meanwhile, point-of-sale retail transactions decreased by 4 percent year over year, after a 2 percent increase from 2014 to 2015.

    Generation X (ages 35-50) had the highest spend per active account, at $363, while consumers age 65-plus had the least, at $257.

    Millennials’ spend, meanwhile, was flat from 2015 to 2016, after increasing 4 percent from 2014 to 2015.

     

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