With the holiday season just around the corner, residents and tourists throughout east central Georgia and across the Savannah River into South Carolina now have an added number of items to choose from to make this Thanksgiving and Christmas season extra special. An abundant selection of high quality meats and cheeses, holiday decorations, fresh cut flowers and gift-giving items such as jewelry and electronics will be unveiled at the Augusta Sam’s Club grand opening event Thursday, Oct. 21, at 9:30 a.m. Community leaders, including Augusta Mayor Deke Copenhaver, will join club manager Cory Coile and more than 200 associates in celebrating the completion of the club’s expansion and renovation. The club, which now measures 136,000 square feet, is conveniently located at 596 Bobby Jones Expressway just off Interstate 20.
City Leaders Call Expansion a Continued Community Investment
“During these difficult economic times, it is undoubtedly a good sign for our local economy for Sam’s Club to increase their investment in our local marketplace through their expansion,” said Augusta Mayor Deke Copenhaver. “I firmly believe that this significant investment speaks directly to both the stability of our local economy and to Sam’s Club commitment to our community going forward. Not only will their expansion help to grow our local tax base while having a positive impact on local sales tax revenues, but it will also create jobs and opportunities for local citizens.”
The Augusta Sam’s Club has hired 30 additional associates to staff the larger club, bringing the total number of associates to approximately 200, according to Sam’s Club Manager Cory Coile. Coile started his career with Sam’s Club in 1996 as an overnight stocker in Athens. He has worked at Sam’s Clubs in Georgia and North Carolina and has been manager of the Augusta Club for four years.
The expanded club is not only adding more jobs to the region, but will also provide area Business, Advantage and Collegiate members new ways to save time and money, all in one stop. In fact, a recent study found Sam’s Club saves consumers, on average, 30.4 percent on some of the most frequently purchased product categories versus grocery and specialty retailers.*
Sam’s Club makes it even easier for Members to add up their annual savings with an online calculator. The tool, based on the overall data collected in the recent study, enables consumers to put Sam’s Club to the test by estimating their average spend on a variety of product categories including baby, pets and groceries and to learn what they could be saving with a Sam’s Club Membership. Visit www.samsclub.com/savingsmadesimple to learn more about Sam’s Club Member savings.
Commitment to the Community Through Grants
Another way Sam’s Club supports the Augusta region is by giving back to the community with the distribution of grants. In recognition of the Oct. 21 grand opening, associates from the Club will present $5,000 in donations to local charitable organizations. The grant recipients include the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office, the Central Savannah River Area Humane Society, the CRSA Young Marines, and more.
Sam’s Club will also help fight hunger in Augusta and its surrounding areas by continuing to make regular product donations to the Golden Harvest Food Bank, which serves a 30 county area across eastern Georgia and western South Carolina. The program is part of a partnership between Sam’s Club and Feeding America. Sam’s Club locations across the country regularly donate perishable food items to area hunger relief agencies, helping fight hunger in their communities and reducing food waste. The Golden Harvest Food Bank distributed more than 12.4 million pounds of grocery products to agencies, families and individuals in need in fiscal year 2009.
New Club Brings Convenience, More Merchandise, Fuel Station
The expanded Sam’s Club now measures 136,000-square-feet, adding 30,000 square feet of merchandise selection, conveniences and services for its members. Shoppers will immediately notice the changes and improvements to the exterior of the Augusta Sam’s Club which now features stucco, accent columns and a new beige color scheme. The club also enlarged its front vestibule which allows the carts to now be stored inside, and added a convenient drive-up loading area to aid members as needed with loading their purchases.
Once inside, members will notice a variety of new features including a digital one-hour photo center to allow the convenience of editing photos and ordering prints online. A new pharmacy and optical department, with dedicated staff to offer personal assistance with healthcare needs, have also been added during the club’s expansion. And local residents and tourists visiting the area can now fill up their fuel tanks at the new, 12-pump Sam’s Club fuel station, offering gasoline and diesel fuel. The fuel station officially opened Aug. 24. The Augusta Sam’s Club also offers a tire and battery center.
Those looking to make dinner time and family occasions a little easier can now enjoy expanded deli and produce departments. A number of items to help make meal time a breeze are available, including fresh rotisserie chickens, breads and desserts, Member’s Mark Take-N-Bake Pizzas as well as a large selection of ready-made meals. Holiday parties and get-togethers can also be made easy with a larger selection of choice meats, gourmet cheeses and hors d’oeuvres trays.
And if time is running short after shopping, members can now enjoy the expanded Sam’s Club Café featuring pizza, hotdogs, soft drinks, ice cream and more. Browsing the internet is also possible since the club has full Wi-Fi capabilities.
Sam’s Club Commitment to Sustainability
In keeping with the company’s commitment to the environment, the expanded Augusta Sam’s Club was constructed and remodeled with energy-efficient technology and environmentally friendly features to reduce energy and water consumption and minimize waste.
The club has added 130 daylight-harvesting skylights to help reduce the amount of energy used in the facility. While it is not open 24-hours, it is occupied 24-hours per day. During the hours when it is closed, the light level is reduced by more than 50 percent.
“We have also changed all of the lighting throughout the club from the ceiling to the sales floor,” said Coile. “All of our cooler and freezer doors have been upgraded and feature LED lighting. Even our jewelry counters have the most energy efficient lighting possible.”
Savings Made Simple with eValues
eValues is a new membership benefit program for Plus Members and provides personalized savings on hundreds of items including fresh foods, health and beauty products and office supplies, as well as other goods and services available at Sam’s Club locations.
There are no coupons to clip and no rebate forms to complete and mail with eValues. Sam’s Club Plus® Members will receive customized offers tailored to them and discounts will be automatically taken at the register using their existing membership cards.
The eValues benefit is included in both the Advantage and Business versions of the Sam’s Club Plus Membership; both cost $100 annually. Sam’s Club estimates Plus Members will save more than $200 per year with eValues.
Join the Conversation Online
Sam’s Club now offers unique ways for Members to engage with each other and receive information. Twitter and Facebook users can get the latest news and hot items of the day by following or becoming a fan of Sam’s Club. To find Sam’s Club on Facebook, go to www.facebook.com/samsclub. Tweeters can follow @samsclub and @samsclubdeals to stay up-to-date.
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, as well in Brazil, China, and Mexico. Sam’s Club saves its members on average 30.4 percent over grocery and specialty retailers by offering superior values on quality merchandise and services for home or work. Saving is made simple at Sam’s Club. Visit samsclub.com for more information.
*Based on estimated annualized savings of select Sam’s Club Members on items Members purchased in select categories derived from a survey conducted in 30 U.S. markets between 07/27/2009 and 08/24/2009 comparing Sam’s Club regular unit prices to regular unit prices of selected non-Club competitors, including, but not limited to, grocery stores and mass retailers. Local savings for individual customers vary.