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Boxed

The next generation of warehouse club store may be housed in a mobile app, reports Erin Griffith in CNN Money (5/13/14). That app may be Boxed, which "launched last year to bring bulk shopping to mobile." Founded by "former Zynga developers and executives," Boxed applies "the customer retention tactics" typically used "in the mobile gaming world" to "mobile commerce, an area that’s behind on optimization."

Boxed is also expressly designed to appeal to "young, urban millennials" that "tend to avoid buying houses and own fewer cars — both necessary to enjoy the benefits of a bulk-shopping club." The app has also shown appeal among rural customers. What’s more, "Boxed doesn’t charge membership fees like Costco’s $55 per year and Sam’s Club’s $45 per year." It offers "two-to-three-day delivery," and caters to those placing "small orders."

Boxed CEO Chieh Huang thinks his app also holds an advantage in terms of variety and selection of "green and organic items." Others, including Amazon’s Pantry, have attempted to compete against club stores, but more recently have "pivoted to focus on increasing order sizes for its home goods ordering … Likewise, Groupon has launched Groupon Basics, with discount personal care goods." Meanwhile, "Sam’s Club and Costco have their own apps."