Walmart’s membership warehouse chain Sam’s Club on Friday unveiled a sack full of revamped holiday merchandising and marketing initiatives including a first-in-the-channel direct-to-consumer wine delivery, a larger assortment of brand-name apparel, a sweepstakes contest for digital shoppers and new attractions including an outdoor marketplace and parking-lot skating rink at select locations.
The “Bring the Merry” event, supported by a 35-page catalog sent to members and now posted on Samsclub.com, comes in response to member research indicating customers planned to do their holiday shopping early this year, Sam’s Club officials said. It also comes amid supply-chain issues that have prompted retailers—including Walmart’s rivals like Target and Amazon—to rush out their own events to capture what is shaping up to be a festive and lengthy giving season beginning some seven weeks before the traditional “Black Friday” gun sounds.
“Our membership has reached record levels, and our members are telling us it’s ‘game on’ this Christmas, maybe like never before,” Tony Rogers, Chief Member Officer of Sam’s Club, said in a release. “Around here we say our members expect something special, from us, and we will deliver with more events, an earlier start, more marketing support than ever, incredible items, and technology like Scan & Go that lets you skip the line and beat the crowds.”
Sam’s Club said its surveys indicate that 20% of its members have already started fulfilling their gift lists.
In addition to traditional savings events that feature merchandise across categories, the retailer is introducing new events with curated collections of merchandise, such as “Holiday Home Prep” and “Appreciation Gifts” to help provide inspiration and make shopping easier. The new events will take place across five weekends in October, November and December.
DTC Wine Club
In partnership with the Los Angeles alcohol-as-a-service firm DRINKS, Sam’s Club making its wines available for direct home delivery for the first time. Officials said the arrangement makes Sam’s the first warehouse retailer with the capability of shipping wines to multiple states. The offering features various multi-packs and mixed cases of its private-label Member’s Mark wines, available for delivery to 16 states and Washington, DC currently. More states—and more wines—will be available in the future, officials noted.
Prices on SamClub.com range from $41.88 for a six-pack of Mendoza Malbec to $107.76 (12 bottles of Sonoma County Pinot Noir, Moscato D’asti or Côte de Provence Rosé).
Sam’s Club plans to “delight shoppers throughout the season” with unexpected moments featuring celebrities, demos every week, and new, festive holiday signage and décor on both the exterior and interior of every club. And in five locations, Sam’s Club will host a Merry-ville in parking lots, where members can enjoy an over-the-top holiday experience including an ice-skating rink with special performances.
In another move to attract shoppers to stores—and ulitize their apps when they get there—the chain chain is launching Scan & Go sweepstakes where members can enter to win big prizes, like a $50,000 trip, a $30,000 mega-home theater makeover, or a lifetime membership with a $20,000 Sam’s Club shopping spree.
More Top Brands
Sam’s Club will continue to offer high-quality “treasure hunt” items all season long, bringing back many of last year’s popular items like the 12 Days of Wine Advent Calendar, and launching hundreds of new giftable items in all areas of the club and online, the company said. Members will also find exclusives, like the Kids’ Fitbit Ace 3 Minions bundle, a digital pinball table and a trendy 14-karat gold paperclip necklace. New items will be flowing into clubs and online frequently throughout the season, so if a member sees an item they like, they will need to act fast; a new, high-quality item may be in its place the next time they shop.
In apparel, new brands like Gap, Vince Camuto, Hurley, Steve Madden and DKNY will be added in clubs and online during the holidays. And in toys, Sam’s Club is adding more than 25 new brands, like Chillafish, Rainbow High and Segway, to name a few.
Sam’s operates nearly 600 clubs in the U.S. and Puerto Rico.