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Walmart Plans To Expand Sam's Club For First Time In Years With 30 Larger New Locations

A Sam's Club in Fort Wayne, Indiana.

Walmart plans to grow its Sam's Club portfolio for the first time since 2017 by opening more than 30 new locations and five distribution centers. 

The big-box retailer plans to open its next Sam's Club in Florida in 2024 and its next distribution center in Georgia, CNBC reported. The retailer plans to continue expanding over the next five years to reach more customers. 

“During times like inflation, times when people have pressure on their household budget, it’s a time when Sam’s Club can really show up,” Sam's Club CEO Kathryn McLay told CNBC. “So I think the time is really right for us.”

The club has seen nearly double-digit sales gains over the past year. During the three months ending Oct. 31, it recorded a 10% year-over-year increase and a 24% rise on a two-year basis. The club also saw membership income increase 8%.

The new stores are planned to be around 160K SF, a 20K SF increase from Sam's Club's typical footprint. This extra space will create room for a sushi island, a full-service floral area and a large waiting room for patients at the hearing and optical center.

Sam's Club has 600 locations in the U.S., including Puerto Rico. In 2018, it closed 63 of its locations.

The retail chain had previously opened five to 10 clubs per year, but the last time Walmart opened a new Sam's Club was in 2017 in Hanover, Pennsylvania.

Each Sam's Club typically employs 150 to 175 people, with its distribution centers employing around 120 workers and fulfillment centers employing over 1,000 people.

Big-box competitors BJ's Wholesale and Costco also have plans to open new stores. Last week, Costco announced plans to open a new location on the bottom floor of an 800-unit apartment building in the Baldwin Hills neighborhood of Los Angeles.