Sam's Club Just Made A Big Change To Its Membership

During the 2020 peak of the coronavirus pandemic, wholesale supermarkets saw an increase in sales growth — and for good reason. People were staying at home and readily buying in bulk, to avoid frequent trips out to the grocery store. According to CNN Business, stocks for Costco, Sam's Club, and BJ's climbed during this period, as people continued to pay for memberships even after social distancing laws relaxed.

But it has been more than two years since the first major U.S. lockdown, and wholesale prices have climbed from 10.9% to 11.3% from July 2021 to July 2022 (via Market Watch). Price inflation also led to the major Costco stock drop seen earlier this year. Costco has also raised the price of some of its products due to inflation. But Sam's Club had other reasons for why it decided to make a change to its membership price towards the end of 2022.

It will cover its higher membership cost this year

Sam's Club will be adjusting its basic membership fee from $45 to $50 and $100 to $110 for its Plus members. It attributes the price increases to the introduction of new brands and technology, as well as upgrading all 600 clubs, according to the chain's FAQ page. This change will be made on October 17, which is the first time in nine years since the Club membership was adjusted. And other wholesale companies might follow suit. 

As of August 2022, one of Sam's Club's largest competitors, Costco, has kept its basic membership price at $60. However, in June, there were talks about how this number might change again, as it usually does every five to six years (via Fortune). Sam's Club acknowledges how this price adjustment could be stressful to its customers. Therefore, the FAQ page notes that this year, Sam's Club will cover the price change, giving back $5 to every basic renewal and $10 back to every Plus renewal — hopefully giving shoppers enough time to adjust to the change.