These Are The Only States Without Sam's Club

Sam's Club, the first location of which opened in 1983 as "First Sam's Wholesale Club" in Midwest City, Oklahoma, was not the first of its kind — which is to say, a member's only discount warehouse "club" or store (per Funding Universe). That distinction belongs to the Price Club, which opened its first store in San Francisco, California in 1976 and later merged with Costco (via Britannica). Nevertheless, Sam's Club is now one of the nation's two largest discount warehouse chains, the other being Costco, which also opened its first location in 1983.

Sam's Club, as it has been called since 1990, was the brainchild of Sam Walton, who founded the Walmart discount department store chain in 1962. Today, Sam's Club boasts 600 locations across the U.S. and Puerto Rico, according to Walmart's Investor Relations website. You can find the location nearest to you by typing your zip code into this search engine — unless, of course, you live in one of the six states where there is no Sam's Club.

A mere 6 states are without a Sam's Club location

Out of 50 states, there are only six that do not currently have a Sam's Club location, according to Statista, as confirmed by the Sam's Club store locator. These are Alaska, Massachusetts, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington. In addition, Washington D.C. has no Sam's Club, but we don't count it for this purpose because it is not a state, but a U.S. territory. Further, many D.C. residents are theoretically served by Sam's Clubs locations in nearby Maryland and Virginia. Out of the five inhabited U.S. territories, the only one where you can shop at a Sam's Club is Puerto Rico.

It is because of recent strategic store closures that Sam's Club no longer has a footprint in Rhode Island (the last one closed in 2016, according to WPRI), Massachusetts (the last one closed in 2018, according to Boston Business Journal), Alaska (which also closed in 2018, via CBS News), or Washington State (all were closed by early 2018, per Wall Street Journal). 

It appears that Oregon and Vermont have never been home to a Sam's Club. In the case of Oregon, the reason appears to be restrictive zoning laws (per Sam's Club Facebook page). In the case of Vermont, it's unclear why, since Costco operates there (via Costco). However, what we can say is that Sam's Club has its most significant footprint in Texas, Florida, and California (via ScrapeHero).