Big Box Store
Big Box Store Definition
Its name pretty much says it all. A big box store is a large establishment (often in a square or rectangular-shaped building), that’s usually part of a major retail chain. Examples of such stores include Target, Home Depot, and Best Buy.
If you’re trying to get a new product to market, a big box store is still a viable option, even in the age of ever increasing ecommerce activity. Most people still get most of their retail goods, especially grocery items, from big box retail stores.
If you’re considering attempting to get a product into a big box store like Walmart, there are several things to consider. First, is your product unique, or does it appeal to a previously unknown or untapped customer base? If you’re trying to bring a product to market via a big box store, it will drown in a sea of options if there isn’t something about it that makes it stand out.
You should also consider the kind of big box store you want to approach, for example, a grocer like Whole Foods or a hardware-oriented store like Home Depot. Even once you’ve decided which store to consider, there are several steps within that process. You need to prepare a pitch, convince the retailer to carry your product to begin with, be able to pay for the ability to be within that retailer, and most importantly, analyze your own supply chain and insure that, once placed into a large retail store like a big box store, you’re able to keep up with the sudden new demand for your product.
Big box stores are increasingly becoming more competitive in the ecommerce field as well, especially as companies such as Amazon continue to dominate the online sale space. According to eMarketer, Amazon made up 43.5% of all online sales in 2017, which was a 5% growth from the previous year. In comparison, Walmart only made up 3.6% in that same year, though they are focusing on growing the ecommerce side of their business.
Bringing your product to sale in a space like Amazon or eBay has a lot of advantages over traditional big box stores. For example, you can begin posting and selling your product almost immediately without the hassle that comes to pitching to a big box store. This is incredibly helpful if you’ve already had a developed customer base and are simply looking to expand your reach, or you’ve received sudden large exposure (maybe you were featured on a talk show or a business-oriented reality tv show like Shark Tank).
Some ecommerce companies are attempting to enter the big box retail world as well. In 2017, Amazon purchased the big box grocer Whole Foods, which specializes in organic, gluten free, and vegan foods, as well as other specialty foods and items. Amazon now has a physical presence in the big box retail world that is nearly 500 stores strong, and one that happens to compete with one of Walmart’s biggest revenue drivers; grocery items.
As someone who might be considering attempting to bring a new product to market, it wouldn’t hurt to consider the power of volume that a big box store brings, as well as the nimble convenience that online retailers like Amazon or eBay offer.