Sam’s West, Inc. (doing business as Sam’s Club) is an American chain of membership-only retail warehouse clubs owned and operated by Walmart Inc., founded in 1983 and named after Walmart founder Sam Walton. As of January 31, 2019, Sam’s Club ranks second in sales volume among warehouse clubs with $57.839 billion in sales (in fiscal year 2019) behind rival Costco Wholesale.
Its major competitors are Costco Wholesale and BJ’s Wholesale Club.
As of July 31, 2020, Sam’s Club operates 599 membership warehouse clubs in the United States in 44 states, Puerto Rico and the U.S Virgin Islands. The only states where Sam’s Club does not operate are Alaska (all three locations in that state closed in 2018 as part of a plan to close 63 clubs), Massachusetts (its last remaining location in that state, located in Worcester, closed in 2018 as part of a plan to close 63 clubs), Oregon, Rhode Island (the state’s only location, in Warwick, closed in 2016 as part of a plan to close 269 stores globally, including four U.S. clubs), Vermont, and Washington (all three locations in that state closed in 2018 as part of a plan to close 63 clubs), as well as the District of Columbia. Walmart International also operates Sam’s Club stores in Mexico and China. It has 163 locations in Mexico, and 27 in China. Grupo Big, formerly Walmart Brazil, which was de-consolidated from Walmart in August 2018, also operates Sam’s Clubs in Brazil. Locations generally range in size from 32,000–168,000 sq ft (3,000–15,600 m2), with an average club size of approximately 134,000 sq ft (12,400 m2).On January 11, 2018, Sam’s Club announced the permanent closure of select stores. In a number of cases, employees showed up to work and found the doors locked and a notice saying that the store would soon be liquidated. Walmart eventually told Business Insider that 63 Sam’s Club stores would begin liquidating across the country, including in Alaska, Arizona, California, Illinois, New York, Ohio and Texas.According to Business Insider, the Sam’s Club closings and plans to convert some stores into e-commerce fulfillment centers as announced in January 2018 are part of Walmart’s growing commitment to online retailing that will allow it to better compete with rival Amazon.