For example, a 1-kilogram package of frozen fried potatoes could costs about 160 yen. Sometimes a package of 50 frozen gyoza dumplings is even available for as little as 300 yen.
As the majority of the merchandise items sold by wholesalers is large-sized, they take time to use up, but the price per item is usually far lower than that of ordinary retail shops. The cheap prices are possible because of the wholesalers' cost-cutting policies. The goods' packaging and store interiors are simple. Retort-packed foods are not packed in boxes, for instance.
Kobebussan Co., which operates 495 wholesale supermarket chains across the nation under the shop name Business Supermarket, sells its original products that the company has developed and produced at its own private and associated factories. The company's products include boiled vegetables and onion sauce, which are difficult to get in other supermarkets.
American wholesaler Costco opened up it's first Japanese store in 1999 and until now operates 9 very successful locations. Costco is known for its large-scale warehouse-style shops which are widely used by ordinary customers. To make their low-price concept possible A-Price and Costco require their customers to purchase a membership for a few thousand yen to shop in their outlets. (The Yomiuri Shimbun)