Sam's Club Pandemic-Proofed Its Annual Savings Event

Jacqueline Barba
Associate Editor
Jacqueline Barba profile picture

Sam’s Club turned its one-day “August Savings Event” into a nine-day occurrence this year, elevating online-only and contactless shopping methods as a way to avoid drawing crowds to clubs to ensure shopper safety.

Running from Aug. 1-9, this year’s event encompassed members-only prices throughout clubs and online. Sam’s Club dangled deals on TVs and electronics, clothing and accessories, and appliances. Also offered were deals on mattresses from brands like Serta, Beautyrest and Allswell, plus furniture and summertime outdoor items such as grills, coolers, outdoor storage and spas.

In stores, blue “August Savings Week” standees plugged the event while directing shoppers to for more deals. Digital support spanned a dedicated shop and display ads, email activity and social media updates, including sponsored Facebook updates that opened a mobile-friendly, dedicated August Savings Week shop without leaving the app.

Sam’s Club previewed the August sales event by extending a sneak peek of the digital version of the event’s catalog, promoted with a thin, top-of-page banner ad appearing just above the home page carousel ad. The ad linked to a web page hosting the digital catalog and promotion details. The first interior page of the catalog invited members to view additional deals at, while communicating “This time, we added tons of cool online-only products so you can save from home more easily.” The online-only offers were sporadically placed throughout the catalog and were identifiable through a blue “online-only” icon, spanning primarily bulky items like refrigerators, storage units and a treadmill.

The Walmart-owned warehouse club chain concurrently encouraged contactless shopping by encouraging members to take advantage of its Pickup service, which shifted to a contactless operation in light of the pandemic nationwide, or its Scan & Go contactless checkout mobile app. Shortly before the pandemic hit, Sam's Club had enlisted Olympian runners Usain Bolt and Allyson Felix to tout the speed of the retailer's Scan & Go tech in a series of digital videos. (View one below.)

Sam’s Club also offered free shipping to all members during the promotional period. The retailer's contactless Pickup service remains a free benefit to all members in response to the pandemic, though it is reserved as a Plus-member benefit in normal times.

NOTE: For more photos of this campaign, visit Path to Purchase Institute members have access to nearly 250 articles and more than 1,700 photos of merchandising and marketing activity at Sam's Club, along with a full Retailer Profile outlining the chain’s operations and strategies.