With a $100 annual fee-just one dollar more than the cost of a similar Amazon membership-Sam's Club Plus members will receive free shipping on almost all items with no minimum purchase. Online leader Amazon has driven strong loyalty with free shipping through its $99-a-year Prime membership.
Last month Sam's Club shuttered 63 stores which is around 10% of its total number of stores. Going forward, there will be two levels of membership: Club and Plus.More news: Everett student made 'credible' school shooting threat
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Warehouse chain Sam's Club, a unit of Walmart, said on Wednesday it will consolidate its membership structure for customers and improve its e-commerce offerings by adding free shipping and opening more e-commerce warehouses this year. There will be no conditions such as the minimum they need to spend on an order.
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. However the warehouse chain intends to launch its first online retail fulfilment center. While executives gave few details on the exact locations of those centers, aside from the first slated to open in Memphis, more details will emerge within the next six weeks. Other regions being considered for fulfillment centers include Texas, Central Florida, the Mid-Atlantic, Southern California, Chicagoland, and the Northeast. For instance, Walmart is using cloud data to stock items frequently ordered via such voice-activated assistants as Google Home.
Owning its cloud network is helping Walmart remain competitive with Amazon's pricing while also control inventory and other key functions, Reuters said. "Now they must find a way to monetize the cloud business they are building the way AWS did", Sizemore Capital Management's founder, Charles Sizemore, said.