Published: Thu, February 15, 2018
Tech | By

Sam's Club is renovating itself

Sam's Club is renovating itself

The first distribution center, in Memphis, Tennessee, will open within six weeks.

The warehouse division of Walmart adding a perk for its premium members - free shipping on almost every item available on its website.

"They were trying to be too many things to too many people and they felt like that was hurting a little bit, so they're really trying to simplify this down and get it down to their core base and offer them great deals, and it can drive longer-term growth", Yarbrough said.

The warehouse club chain is rolling out free shipping on "most of the items" sold online, including almost every Member's Mark private-label item, with no minimum purchase required, the retailer said in a blog on its website.

The company is also consolidating Sam's business and Sam's savings membership programs into one track, still priced at $45 a year, and extending the "add-on" ability so members can give memberships to family, friends or employees for $40.

Plus members will continue to receive other benefits like cash rewards, early shopping hours, and pharmacy and optical discounts. Going forward, there will be two levels of membership: Club and Plus.

Sam's Club's new perks are part of an overall transformation of the business, which is focused on reducing complexities, "right sizing" its store fleet and improving features like scan-and-go, pickup operations, fresh delivery and digital tools that reorder essentials.

Furner said previous year that the company had chose to sharpen its focus and began catering to budget-conscious shoppers, pulling back from business owners. Some of the closed stores will be converted into e-commerce warehouses.

The move comes one month after Sam's Club abruptly closed 63 of its stores and said a handful would be turned into e-commerce distribution centers. Furner said Tuesday that the center should be ready to ship items by the end of March.

Sam's Club is making changes as it looks to compete head-on with rivals Amazon and Costco.

The retailer, which now relies on Walmart's supply chain network to make online order deliveries, recently said it will open its own first e-commerce fulfillment center in Memphis, Tennessee, and expects to ship its first package in the spring.

The company is tentatively planning to open other e-commerce facilities in Florida, California, the Chicago area, and the Northeast in the coming months, executives said.

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