Cash and Carry
But do they have this in the UK? At first glance, it does seem to be an American type of thing, esepcially given the smaller size/scale of things here. Given our generally quite urban location and existence (sans-auto), we don’t tend to see too much of those kinds of places. However, they do exist – Costco has 21 UK locations, for example. Similarly, there is a market for “cash and carry” warehouse/wholesale kinds of places – one of the largest known as Makro, which apparently dabbled in the US market but retreated sometime in the 1990s, and there is also Bestway, with about 50 locations in the UK. The primary focus of these “cash and carry” places are really what I remember being big in the early days of the wholesale clubs – catering to small businesses and trade/commercial interests. Makro, I believe, requires you to be a registered business or an authorized representative of one to shop there.
Why are they not more consumer oriented? Well, I wouldn’t be surprised if things are heading that way longer-term…but many residences (including ours!) don’t have any space to store bulk items, especially food. Most of the flats we have seen have quite limited closet space and those infamous dorm-size fridges. So, in that respect, businesses are perhaps the only ones really able to take advantage of these places.