Wholesale vs. Big Box Retail

Take your pick: are you someone who despises Wal-Mart or has a moral confliction about Target, or avoids Starbucks whenever possible, or someone who glares at Best Buy? Yet, at the same time we shop at big name grocery stores, without having big box guilt.  No one’s perfect, right?

Everyone has his or her own pet peeves when it comes to shopping; we pick our battles. Yet, regardless of our shopping habits, we all still want a good deal. If we’re not careful about money and if we don’t spend it wisely, we’ll end up without money and things go downhill from there.  So, we bargain shop.

If you’re shopping for a big family or a big party, wholesale retailers do offer good deals; buying in bulk is almost always cheaper. Yet, obviously, this is the sort of thing that hastened the decline of locally owned businesses that cannot buy and sell in bulk.  

While Wal-Mart and Target and Kmart are battles of their own sort, how do they compare to wholesale retailers like Costco, Sam’s Club, and BJ’s? The wholesalers offer even better “value” for your money, or so we are led to believe.  My disdain for big box retailers is well known, but I have never been that bothered by places like Costco and BJ’s. (Sam’s Club, as it owned by Wal-Mart does bother me. Like I said, we all pick our battles).

Thus, I need to ask: do you consider wholesale retailers to be the same as big box retailers? Are they bringing the same havoc and effects to our towns and communities?  After all, they are even bigger “box” buildings, have acres of asphalt, and would definitely put similar companies out of business. Or, is it a completely different method  and experience of shopping?  I have attempted to find research on the subject, but haven’t had any luck. If you can speak on the subject (factually or opinionated), please do!