These days, everyone appreciates a good deal. Which is exactly why big box club stores like Costco, BJ’s, and Sam’s Club are more popular than ever. One of the ways these stores are able to cut down on cost? By eliminating excess packing material, waste, and handling costs. This means they have much stricter requirements than other shops when it comes to packaging.
Wondering what it takes to get your product packaged and into these warehouse giants? Check out some basics on club store packaging requirements to get some helpful hints about how to keep it creative and follow the guidelines.
Know the Rules
Costco Packaging Requirements are outlined in full here, but one of the main takeaways is that the packaging must be strong enough to endure fast-paced shipping since Costco ships products directly to their stores the same day they arrive at the depot. And, if your product uses trays to ship, the rules state that they must be “useful in every way,” meaning they’ll need to factor into the display as well. Though Costco must ultimately approve of the “look and feel” of packaging, you still have a great amount of control over your design.
Sam’s Club Packing Requirements are listed in full here, and state that each product must have liability insurance. They are also focused on sustainable packaging, and, like Costco, require that packaging be able to survive the shipping process and work to display the product on the store’s floor.
BJ’s Packaging Requirements are very similar to those of other club stores, and are especially strict when it comes to blister and clamshell packaging. Remember too, that the FDA requires that the packaging and individual units of food products clearly display an expiration date.
Strategies for Packaging for Club Stores
Don’t let the rules overwhelm you – you have more creative license than you think. Some tips for standing out?
- Make It Efficient: This refers to both the strength of your packaging and the way in which you use it to advertise your product. In club stores, since your products will likely be displayed in bulk, you have more room for text, great graphics, and even recipe ideas. Consider creating a unique packaging design for products going to club stores. These stores often carry only one or two similar items (for example, instead of a choice between fifteen different sweaters, in a club environment, there may only be two.) So, you’re not competing with your standard industry rivals. Instead, you want to make sure shoppers put your sweater into their carts instead of another item altogether.
- Make It Safe: Though each club store may have its own specific safety requirements, remember that your packaging must be durable enough not only to survive the shipping journey, but also be able to withstand the hundreds of shoppers that come to clear out the shelves each day. Consider large bins or even packaging that can fold into custom, standing displays for smaller items.
- Look into the Billboarding Technique: Graphics are super-important when it comes to club stores, especially since they play into brand recognition. Billboarding is a design that’s created when boxes and packages are stacked in bulk. Just make sure that your design is able to be seen from more than one side, as often, aisles are see-through. If you’re still working on brand recognition, consider at least color-blocking your boxes in your brand’s colors.
We hope these tips have helped you learn how to stand out from the crowd when it comes to club store packaging. If you still have questions or are ready to get started creating your own design, our experts are always happy to help. Keep checking back in on our blog for more invaluable packaging advice!