The warehouse club is more relevant today than ever. Whether it's a Business or Advantage member, the Sam's Club message is about the compelling value on quality items that membership offers. The numbers help tell the story.
In a small business, every penny counts, especially in today's economy. We show small business members that by purchasing products at Sam's Club, they save money and increase their own business' profitability. During National Small Business Week, for example, thousands of small business owners learned through invoice comparisons that they could save up to thousands of dollars annually by purchasing at Sam's Club.
Advantage members also are responding to learning more about the savings that Sam's Club offers through various events in the clubs. The membership team commissioned an independent third-party consultancy to validate the savings at Sam's Club versus traditional retail outlets. The study showed an overall average savings of about 38 percent on the categories surveyed. Members now receive an annual "savings summary" that tracks their savings on specific categories of purchases during the year, as well as highlighting additional opportunities to save in categories the member may not currently shop.
These types of initiatives helped strengthen Sam's membership programs last year. Signing up new members and retaining existing members remain priorities for this year.
Beyond demonstrating the value of the membership itself, Sam's Club continues to focus on enhancing the quality of the merchandise and the shopping experience. Uncompromising product quality and newness are key dimensions of delivering the Sam's Club experience.
We continue working directly with suppliers to develop products that provide a unique and compelling value for members. In the fresh category, for example, only a small percentage of all fruit grown meets our high expectations. Sam's Club merchandising teams are working with suppliers to ensure they deliver products that take steps toward sustainability, such as Fair Trade Certified™ bananas and Fair Trade Certified™ wine.
Sam's also remains focused on changing packaging to make certain products more relevant to Advantage members' needs. For example, repackaging three bottles of ketchup together in a size that is easier to pick up, has longer shelf life, and fits in refrigerator doors better than one large bottle, resulted in a significant increase in ketchup sales.
Samsclub.com is an integral part of our growth strategy. We continue to add features to the site that provide our members with information that makes it even easier and more enjoyable to shop both online and in our clubs.
Beyond the merchandise quality and value, the strong execution by our associates continues to enhance the member experience in our clubs. Sam's Club's associates' commitment to service and building relationships with our members is key to our continued success.