First look: the world’s largest Sam’s Club

Date : 29 September 2021

Jiong-Jiong Yu

Senior Retail Analyst

With a total area of 70,000 sq m (comparable to 10 football fields), the world’s largest and China’s first Sam’s Club flagship store has opened in Waigaoqiao Bonded Zone, Pudong New Area, Shanghai on 26 September.

A shopping and entertainment destination

The outlet includes a Sam's store, as well as catering, entertainment, and education. "It is not just another shopping outlet, but combination of shopping, leisure and entertainment," said Andrew Miles, president of Sam's Club China.

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Source: Walmart China

Highlight 1: 150+ new products

Most of them are either rare or innovative products, such as:

  • 1.5-metre-high rainbow crisps gift box
  • 4.5kg giant chocolate
  • 200+kg bluefin tuna
  • Giant snow peach weighing 800g+ each
  • 300g+ fresh matsutake
  • The world’s first voice-controlled Transformer
  • Limited edition of Sugden’s 54-year-old whiskey (235 limited bottles worldwide)

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Source: Walmart China

Highlight 2: Immersive shopping experience

The new store’s experience area is four times that of an average Sam’s Club, bringing a new shopping experience of "immersive, interesting, interactive, and professional".

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Source: Walmart China

Members can try the dry-aged steak and bluefin tuna cooked by professional chef in the Sam Kitchen.

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Source: Walmart China

The 2-meter giant dinosaur doll in the toy experience zone not only moves but can also talk and play with children.

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Source: Walmart China

Its VR Lab uses naked-eye 3D VR technology to create immersive virtual spaces such as seaside, gardens and living rooms. It is the world’s first VR technology that does not require wearable devices (e.g. glasses or headsets).

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Source: Walmart China

Highlight 3: a dining area that can accommodate 120 customers

The flagship store has the country's largest Sam's Bar, which can accommodate 120 people at the same time. Members can take the whole family to take a break and enjoy beef rolls, roast chicken, pizza and other delicacies.

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Source: Walmart China

Highlight 4: Smart parking

Its smart parking lot can accommodate more than 1,100 cars. It has more than 100 electric vehicle (EV) charging stations. There are elevators that connect the parking lot with the store directly, providing easy access.

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Source: Walmart China

Highlight 5: value-added services such as dry skiing

To create one-stop shopping and leisure experience, the new store has introduced dry skiing for the first time. Other member services include pet grooming and car services. It also has one-hour delivery service and delivery charge is free.

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Source: Walmart China

It is Sam's 34th stores in China and the retailer expects this number to mount to 45 by the end of 2022. In the 2021 Annual Report, Walmart emphasised the contribution of double-digit growth of Sam’s Club to its overall performance in China – making up the sharp loss in its hypermarket business. Between 2016 and 2020, Walmart closed over 80 of its outlets in China as consumers turn to online shopping and smaller format stores. Walmart has sped up store expansion of Sam's Club in China due to rising competition in the wholesale sector. At the same time, it is very focused on differentiated range and services as demonstrated by this flagship store to maintain its leadership position. 

Additional information

Store address: 599 Wan'an Jie, near Jinjing Lu, Pudong District, Shanghai, China

No. of SKUs: 3,000 - 4,000

Private Label: Member’s Mark

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