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02/01

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SAM'S Club and Wal-Mart Add New Sparkle To Jewelry Departments
Feb 1, 2001
SAM’S Club expands and enhances fine jewelry offerings

BENTONVILLE, Ark. - SAM’S Club and Wal-Mart are turning up the sparkle in their jewelry departments, enhancing the quality, value and selection of their fine jewelry lines.

Just in time for Valentine’s Day, SAM’S Clubs across the nation are offering an improved selection of diamonds, genuine gemstones and fine jewelry and gifts, including designer watches, crystal, limoges, and designer fragrances. SAM’S Club is also featuring a special Valentine’s Day mixed bouquet, between 18 and 22 stems of assorted flowers, for $10.97.

The new jewelry counters, owned and operated by SAM’S Club, enable SAM’S Club to deliver exceptional quality items to its members at extraordinary values. For example, a 14k yellow gold genuine oval sapphire (8.60cttw) and diamond (.96cttw) bracelet will sell at SAM’S Club for $733.97, while the same bracelet can be found at other jewelry retailers for $1,695.00. SAM’S Club merchandise selections will vary by location, but each facility will offer International Gemmological Institute (IGI) certified diamond solitaires, three-stone rings and diamond stud earrings set in platinum.

SAM’S Club and Wal-Mart will also feature a variety of quality diamond engagement rings, anniversary bands, earrings and pendants. Both SAM’S Club and Wal-Mart buyers carefully select diamond merchandise for each facility, including those certified by International Gemmological Institute, the world’s recognized standard for determining the values of precious stones. IGI rates diamonds according to four characteristics, including cut, clarity, carat weight and color.

Other fine jewelry selections at SAM’S Club include genuine gemstone jewelry, gold merchandise, cultured and fresh water pearls and seasonal merchandise, such as diamond heart- shaped pendants. SAM’S Club will offer both gold and platinum settings.

"With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, this is truly an exciting enhancement to the luxury merchandise we offer at SAM’S Club," said Phil Sutterfield, executive vice-president of merchandising for SAM’S Club. "Owning and operating our fine jewelry counters gives us the opportunity to better serve our members and give them the best value possible. The quality and pricing of our fine jewelry items offer amazing savings, and we are excited to bring these savings to our members."

More than 470 SAM’S Clubs nationwide plan to offer enhanced jewelry departments by Feb. 1. Nearly 30 SAM’S Clubs in select markets have already introduced the new-and- improved merchandise, and the new jewelry lines are also available online at www.samsclub.com and www.walmart.com.

"We will continue selecting fine diamonds and gemstones to meet popular price points and the needs of our customers," said Chris Callahan, vice president and divisional merchandise manager of Wal-Mart’s jewelry division. "The ability of Wal-Mart to pass on savings and value will make shopping for that special occasion a lot more enjoyable."

Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. operates more than 2,600 discount stores, Supercenters and Neighborhood Markets, and more than 470 SAM’S Clubs in the United States. Internationally, the company operates more than 1,060 units. Wal-Mart employs more than 885,000 associates in the United States and 255,000 internationally. The company’s securities are listed on the New York and Pacific stock exchanges under the symbol WMT. More information about Wal-Mart can be located on-line at www.walmartstores.com. The SAM’S Club Web site can be accessed at www.samsclub.com.

Last year Wal-Mart associates raised and contributed more than $185 million to support communities and local non-profit organizations. In addition, FORTUNE named Wal-Mart the fifth "most admired" company in America and one of the 100 best companies to work for in America. And, for the second consecutive year, the public named Wal-Mart the most socially responsible company in America, according to Cone, Inc.