Walmart to open second members-only store in Shanghai

Walmart is looking to open a second Sam's Club store in Shanghai's Qingpu District in June this year after the first was launched in Pudong eight years ago.
Ding Yining / SHINE

Walmart is looking to open a second Sam’s Club store in Shanghai's Qingpu District in June this year after the first was launched in Pudong eight years ago.

The membership-only retail chain, with about 2 million members around the country, is expecting at least 40 stores to be open for business or under construction by 2020.

By the end of this year, online sales are expected to account for 13 to 15 percent of total Sam’s Club income in China, which has been more than doubling in the past few years, said president of Sam’s Club China Andrew Miles.

"As we expand our business across China we also want to control quality and to make sure shoppers enjoy the shopping experience," added Miles.

In December it completed the renovation of its Shanghai store to include a wine tasting space, pharmacy, jewellery counter and optical center for eye wear. It also featured a kitchen area to showcase its fresh food and kitchenware.

"The remodeling of existing storefronts doesn't just reflect a newer format but the way we treat our members and how we recruit members and introduce Sam's Club," he also noted.

As many as 95 percent of new Sam's Club members are now joining through digital platforms such as WeChat.

Currently the membership fee is 260 yuan (US$39) per year, which allows consumers access to the hypermarket's selected goods. Last year a premium membership at 680 yuan per year was launched with more benefits such as discount dental services and online shopping coupons.

The company said it's receiving positive feedback from shoppers, and members' purchase frequency and membership renewal rates have been satisfactory.

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