August 24, 2010, 11:47 AM

Sam’s Club to Offer Web Access in Stores By November

Customers can use Wi-Fi to access social media and research goods.

BENTONVILLE, AR., Aug. 10-- As part of its commitment to deliver the best possible shopping experience, Sam's Club today announced plans to upgrade all of its U.S. locations with Wi-Fi by November. The announcement was delivered to more than 2,200 Sam's Club associates from the field and Home Office gathered at the Orlando Convention Center for the company's Annual Holiday Meeting, which showcases holiday merchandise and details plans for the season.

AT&T will provide Wi-Fi to Sam's Club, which will allow its members greater use of their Wi-Fi enabled smart phones while shopping and enable associates to demo new IPTVs (internet TVs) as well as other internet connected devices in real time. Members may view their favorite web application such as Facebook, Pandora or Vudo on large screen TVs to better understand how it would appear at home.  In addition, hundreds of product reviews will now be accessible in-club as well to help members research potential purchases and access samsclub.com. Sam's Club is also upgrading to 1080p on HDTV displays, to provide an improved and more realistic picture quality. Sam's Club is the first warehouse club to offer live IPTV demos and carry a 1080p broadcast signal. Sam's Club expects to showcase 3D TVs in all locations and online next month.

"Our members are early adopters of technology and electronics, and we're excited to deliver an improved experience in our clubs," said Brian Cornell, president and CEO, Sam's Club. "This investment in connectivity allows us to showcase the high quality brands we offer in a new engaging way, provide an enhanced level of service and bring to life our promise to our members of Savings Made Simple."

Sam's Club also announced plans to offer a comprehensive smart phone application (app) for the iPhone, BlackBerry and Droid platforms. The app will include several features such as access to eValues, which are extra discounts loaded directly onto the Plus Membership cards, product information, member reviews and more. The Sam's Club app will make it easier for members to make the right choices on products throughout the club as well as foster greater member interaction with Sam's Club. The Sam's Club app will be available in September. Additional functionality details will be communicated soon.  

The use of Sam's Club Tech Experts will be expanded as a result of the new capabilities to provide advanced training for in-club electronics associates. Sam's Club members may use Tech Experts 24/7 for free, by calling 877-758-4346 to get pre and post sale consultations on dozens of electronics items from computers to home theater systems. Members may also get information on items regardless of where they were purchased.  In addition to providing no cost tech support, Tech Experts also can provide Sam's Club members with delivery and installation of electronics from basic to custom plans.

"These initiatives combined with additional associate training in Electronics will have a positive impact on every product category within the department," said Joe Hartsig, vice president, Electronics at Sam's Club. "We'll be able to enhance how our members experience electronics and deliver an increased level of service as technology choices become more complex."

About Sam's Club

Sam's Club is a division of Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE: WMT). The first Sam's Club opened its doors in Midwest City, Okla., in 1983. Today, Sam's Club serves more than 47 million U.S. Members with locations nationwide, as well as in Brazil, China, Mexico and Puerto Rico. Sam's Club saves its members on average 30.4 percent over grocery and specialty retailers by offering superior values on quality merchandise and services for home or work. Saving is made simple at Sam's Club. Visit samsclub.com for more information.

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