In a weak economy, retailers are pulling out all the stops to draw shoppers in to their stores. And Sam’s Club is no exception.
The warehouse retail chain is using gift cards to help boost club membership. Customers who sign up for a yearly membership through Feb. 1 will receive a $10 gift card. Membership costs $40 a year.
“In this economy, people are trying to look for ways to make the most of their budget,” Sam’s Club spokesperson Susan Koehler said. “[The gift card] gives people a chance to see what we can do for them.”
Sam’s Club is promoting the offer via a newspaper insert, radio spots and PR.
More than 47 million people in the U.S. have a Sam’s Club membership, Koehler said. While Koehler wouldn’t comment specifically on results from the latest promotion, she said, “We do see increased interest [in membership] because of the economy.”
The National Retail Federation says more consumers are shopping at warehouse clubs and discount retailers in hopes of getting the most for their money in a recession. According to the Department of Commerce, sales at warehouse clubs and supercenters rose from $28.4 million in October 2008 to $31.1 million in November 2008.
Sam’s Club periodically runs such incentives to gain new members, Koehler said. In January, the chain ran a bigger promotion, offering a $25 gift card for new members as part of its “Stock Up” promotion.