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Screenings drive awareness


Sam’s Club has been on a roll the past few years, and an emphasis on health-and-wellness categories has figured prominently into the warehouse club operator’s improved performance.

Sam’s recently reported a 5.7% same-store sales increase for the third quarter, which represented its seventh consecutive quarter of sequential comps growth. Membership renewal and upgrade activity was said to be at a 10-year high. Inflation, predominantly in food categories, provided a solid tailwind and accounted for a little more than half of the comps increase, while comps in the health-and-wellness area were in the low-single digits led by pharmacy and optical.

“Pharmacy growth was led by our focused effort on driving script increases and building awareness of the great value and superior service provided by our pharmacists,” said Sam’s Club president and CEO Brian Cornell. “Our investment in hearing centers continues to pay dividends as members have responded to this unique service in our clubs.”

Members have responded by visiting clubs more often and spending more on each visit as the pharmacy, optical department and expanded health-and-wellness product offerings consistently are exposed to members with major health screening events. Since August alone, Sam’s has held major screening events for digestive health, women’s health and eye care. At last count, Sam’s Club had conducted more than 285,000 free health screenings in clubs, and the trend is set to continue in January 2012 with a “New Year, New You!” screening initiative focused on cholesterol, glucose, body mass index and blood pressure.

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