Walmart-owned Sam’s Club raises annual membership fee for the first time in nine years
Published Wed, Aug 31 2022
Sam’s Club is raising annual membership fees, as inflation drives store trips and membership is at an all-time high.
Starting Oct. 17, fees will increase from $45 to $50 for club members and from $100 to $110 for members of its higher-tier level, “Plus.”
The Walmart-owned warehouse club has grown during the Covid pandemic and benefited from fuel discounts during inflation.
A 10-11% increase to Costco’s membership fees would certainly help the bottom line. Anyone want to guess when management decide to follow Sam’s Club example? Not that they should necessarily be following what Sam’s Club is doing. Keep the hot dog/Pepsi at $1.50, but let’s increase the membership fee.
I don’t know WMT financials. However, based on the parking lot of the Sam’s Club near me, the Sam’s Club isn’t a cash cow for them. Several years ago they closed a LOT of club stores, including the one near my office. The one near my house is open, but the parking lot is never more than about 1/2 full. The few times I’ve been in, the aisles are not crowded, and there are only short lines at the registers.
Meanwhile, the Costco lot is full almost all the time. I very seldom can just pull into a parking space. I have to spot someone loading their car, and wait for them (with turn signal on) to get their space. The aisles are usually crowded, and there are cart-jams because of so many people.
A stark contrast. COST clearly seems to be doing more business.
I liked it during the pandemic when our local Costco controlled how many people could be inside at once. It was a pain to wait, but once inside it was a more pleasant shopping experience. No cart-jams, no crowds. Parking lot was still full. As a stockholder, I like the crowded warehouses.