Sam’s Club increases membership by $5

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By Nathaniel Meyersohn, CNN Business

Add a Sam’s Club membership to the list of memberships that are getting more expensive.

The warehouse club, owned by Walmart, announced on Wednesday that it was increasing its annual dues by 11% – from $45 to $50 – starting in October. This is the first fee change in nine years.

The cost of a premium membership plan will also drop from $100 to $110 for the first time since the plan was introduced in 1999.

Sam’s Club said it will offer $5 in rewards to purchasers with a basic subscription and $10 to premium customers as a benefit for renewal after the price hike takes effect.

A regular membership at rival Costco, the largest warehouse club, costs $60. Costco generally increases the price of a subscription approximately every five years. His last hike dates back to 2017.

Warehouse clubs have gained market share during Covid. More consumers were shopping online during the shutdown as fear of catching the virus kept many shoppers away from crowds.

Sam’s Club and BJ’s have even added same-day curbside pickup for customers who purchased online. Club stores gained 0.5% market share in 2020 and 0.5% in 2021, totaling around $16 billion, according to IRI data. They also saw the fastest sales growth in 2021 compared to 2020 of any retail channel.

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