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10/11/2021

Sam’s steps up wine delivery for the holidays

An easier way to get Member’s Mark wines at home is part of a broad holiday shopping, dining event underway.
Dan Ochwat
Executive Editor
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As part of a broad holiday shopping and entertaining sales event, Sam’s Club has uncorked a direct-to-home wine program around its Member’s Mark own brand wines.

The warehouse retailer has teamed with the delivery platform Drinks to enable shoppers to order its private brand wines in 16 states, but there are plans to expand into more states and add additional wines. This isn’t the first time shoppers could order Member’s Mark alcoholic beverages through delivery. Two years ago, the retailer introduced alcohol delivery through Instacart in select markets. 

With the holiday shopping season in sight, Sam’s Club is planning an impressive lineup of holiday décor and delicious food, ranging from premium side dishes and appetizers to bakeries offering decadent desserts. The $63.9 billion Walmart division is also testing holiday entertaining food initiatives have long been a key component of Sam’s Club’s merchandising strategy, but this year it is riding the momentum of record membership levels driven by the pandemic. With more members shopping its 599 U.S. locations, Sam’s Club's plans also call for double the number of shopping events across five weekends in October, November and December. It also recently launched its first-ever 35-page holiday preview catalog.

a room filled with furniture and vase of flowers on a table

Sam’s Club’s Members Mark foods and decorations tend to anchor its holiday plans. Last year, presented a clever tie-in with the holiday cinema staple, “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation.” Shoppers could virtually venture into the Griswold home and find Member’s Mark decorations and food items to shop right there online.

Sam’s Club said it plans to make it easy for members to entertain this holiday season with early and increased promotional efforts to an enlarged member base, promising to expose a larger number of shoppers to key food and consumables categories that were already a destination for many Sam’s Club members.

“Our members pay to shop with us, and they deserve a special experience,” said Megan Crozier, chief merchant, Sam’s Club. “Sam’s Club will ‘Bring the Merry’ with more this holiday season — more quality items in the club and online, more value, more ways to shop and more special experiences to delight our members all season long.”

Among the ways Sam’s Club plans to “Bring the Merry” are unexpected moments featuring celebrities, demos every week, and new, festive holiday signage and décor on both the exterior and interior of every club. Five Sam’s Club locations will also host what it is calling a “Merry-ville” in parking lots, where it says, “members can enjoy an over-the-top holiday experience including an ice-skating rink with special performances, and much more.”

“Our membership has reached record levels, and our members are telling us it’s ‘game on’ this Christmas, maybe like never before,” said Tony Roger, Sam’s Club chief member officer, alluding to the potential for record sales. “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.”

If Sam’s is to have a record holiday season, it will need to exceed guidance shared in August when second quarter results were reported. Sam's Club's current guidance calls for full year same store sales growth, excluding fuel and tobacco, of 7.5% to 8.5%, versus a 2020 full year comp increase of 11.8%.

“Nineteen years ago, I got the opportunity to become the chief merchant at Sam's, and I can confirm there hasn't been a time in at least 19 years when Sam's has had this much momentum,” Walmart CEO Doug McMillon said in August.