CLUBS AS A HUGE BUT LOW-THREAT COMPETITOR

It has now been 25 years since membership clubs arrived on the retailing scene and, like many innovations, they started quietly but ended up causing a cacophony of competition. As you'll see in the news feature referenced on the front page of this week's SN, the first club -- Price Club -- was established in San Diego in 1976. More important, there's a useful analysis this week of where the membership-club

It has now been 25 years since membership clubs arrived on the retailing scene and, like many innovations, they started quietly but ended up causing a cacophony of competition. As you'll see in the news feature referenced on the front page of this week's SN, the first club -- Price Club -- was established in San Diego in 1976. More important, there's a useful analysis this week of where the membership-club industry stands and what conventional operators can do to mitigate the competitive thre

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