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01/21

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Sam's Club® Gives Back To South Mississippi

Newly Relocated Gulfport Club Celebrates Opening with $19,000 in Grants

GULFPORT, Miss., Jan. 15, 2009 – More than 200 associates at Sam’s Club in Gulfport are putting the finishing touches on their new location at 10431 Old Hwy. 49 as they prepare for the Club’s opening Jan. 22. As part of its grand-opening celebration, the newly relocated Club will announce $19,000 in donations to help south Mississippi non-profit organizations.

Originally opened in 1988 on Creosote Road, the 138,000-square-foot club is now located at 10431 Old Hwy. 49, a quarter mile west of Highway 49 at Landon Road, just north of Interstate 10. As part of its relocation, the club has gained an additional 23,000 square feet and added approximately 10 new associates. Constructed with environmentally friendly materials and energy-efficient fixtures, the club offers Members a pharmacy, digital photo center, tire and battery installation services and a fuel station. A Home Efficiency Center focuses on merchandise customers can use to decrease their energy usage, such as LED light fixtures and Energy Star® appliances.

“We’ll offer the office supplies, bulk food and cleaning items that Sam’s Club Members have come to expect,” said Club Manager Gordon Mingus. “However, we will also have some surprising items such as big-screen televisions, popular gaming systems, outdoor furniture, designer handbags and jewelry.”

Sam’s Club Continues Community Commitment
As part of Sam’s Club commitment to give back to the communities it serves, associates from the Gulfport club have selected four local organizations to receive a total of $19,000 in grants from the Walmart Foundation. Recipients of the grand-opening grants are the Biloxi Back Bay Mission, the Harrison County School District, Harrison County Sheriff’s Department and the Humane Society of South Mississippi (HSSM).

“Back Bay Mission is indeed grateful for Sam’s Club’s generosity,” said Maria Watson, director of development for the mission. “This grant will be used to help stock our food pantry from which we distribute food to the needy and the homeless. Right now, the need is great – and growing. Sam’s has a wonderful history of community service and philanthropy; it is wonderful to be a beneficiary.”

Misty Velasquez, from the Humane Society, echoed Watson’s sentiments. “Contributions, like that of Sam’s Club, ensures that we at HSSM get to save as many lives as possible. In 2008, HSSM opened its door to over 15,500 homeless animals. This donation helps to ensure that all those animals receive the necessary care they deserve.”

The newly expanded Sam’s Club is also fighting hunger in the Gulfport area by making regular product donations to the Bay Area Food Bank. The program is part of a partnership between Sam’s Club and Feeding America. Sam’s Club locations all across the country regularly donate nutritious, protein-rich food to area hunger relief agencies, helping fight hunger in their communities and reducing food waste. The Gulfport club will also host a food drive in February to benefit Feeding America agencies.

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 and in Brazil, Canada, China, Mexico and Puerto Rico. Sam’s Club offers exceptional values on merchandise and services for business owners and consumers. Online merchandise and Club information is available at samsclub.com.

FACT SHEET
Gulfport Sam’s Club

Club Fast Facts

  • Grand opening celebration: Thursday, Jan. 22, 9:45 a.m.
  • Preview: Wednesday, Jan. 21, 7 a.m. to noon.
  • Business Members will be able to shop at the new club from 7 a.m. to noon Wednesday, Jan. 21. Grants will be presented to local charitable organizations at 10 a.m. Reporters and photographers are welcome to attend.
  • New Address: 10431 Old Hwy. 49, Gulfport, Miss.
  • Originally opened in 1988 at 15065 Creosote Rd., Gulfport, Miss.
  • Club hours:
    • Gold Key hours for Business Memberships: 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. Mon. – Fri.; 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. Sat.
    • All Memberships: 10 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Mon. – Fri.; 9 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Sat.; 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sun.
  • 138,000 square-foot Sam’s Club, gaining an additional 23,000 square feet
  • The club has a daylight harvesting system, which uses skylights to refract daylight throughout the building and light sensors to monitor the amount of natural light available. The Sam’s Club also features energy-saving LED refrigerated case lighting, and its stained concrete floors are made with recycled materials.
  • Club Manager: Gordon Mingus

Merchandise Mix

  • Available products include electronics; computer software; mattresses; rotisserie chicken; fresh meats; outdoor living furniture; office products; appliances; restaurant and foodservice supplies, vending and concession supplies, health, beauty and medical supplies; apparel; holiday décor; fitness equipment; toys; and flowers, gifts and awards.
  • Luxury items include designer handbags, jewelry, gourmet and organic foods, crystal and collectibles.
  • The Club offers a fuel station, a pharmacy, a photo lab, tire and battery services, a bakery, a fresh floral department, and a café.
  • Members also enjoy healthcare, business, financial and personal services such as health and medical discount programs, roadside assistance, travel services, auto, boat and RV programs and cost effective merchant credit card processing solutions provided by third-party vendors.

Employment

  • The Club will employ approximately 210 associates, an addition of 10 new positions.
  • Approximately 35 associates have worked for Sam’s Club or Walmart stores for more than 10 years.
  • Seven associates have worked at the Gulfport Sam’s Club since its original opening in 1988.

Charitable Giving
$19,000 in grants to local area organizations, including:

  • Biloxi Back Bay Mission
  • Harrison County School District
  • Harrison County Sheriff’s Department
  • Humane Society of South Mississippi

EDITOR’S NOTES

  • Club Manager Gordon Mingus can provide details about the grand opening, offer quotes for interviews and arrange for photo opportunities or preview tours. He can be contacted at 228-832-4441.

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