retail news in context, analysis with attitude

• The Wall Street Journal reports that Walmart-owned Sam’s Club has begun providing discount coupons to members holding Advantage and Business Plus cards, allowing the users to either download the coupons electronically or print them out at in-store kiosks – the discounts are then automatically deducted at checkout.

According to the story, “Its move comes as Sam's Club and its membership rivals are competing fiercely for new customers, who pay an annual fee to join.” The coupons are seen as a way of justifying the cost of belonging to a club and reinforce the values contained therein, at a time when people are being more vigilant about virtually every purchase.
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