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Sam’s Club Raises Member Fees for First Time Since 2006

Low profits for Walmart may have led to change


Walmart (NYSE:WMT)For the first time since 2006, Walmart’s (NYSE:WMT) Sam’s Club is raising it’s membership fees.

The price hike to $45 per year — a $5 increase for Advantage members and a $10 increase for Business members — took effect May 15, Streetinsider reports. The $100 per year cost for Plus members is unchanged.

The announcement of the price rise comes on the heels of what’s being described as a disappointing quarter for the Bentonville-based Walmart. While profits were up slightly, a widespread sales decline is challenging the mega-retailer.

The company blamed the poor results — which included a 1.4% drop in revenue for stores open more than one year — on the increase in the payroll tax, delayed tax refunds and poor weather across the nation. It also reported that global sales have dropped as the worldwide recession continues to bite its business.

“This is a reality check for Wal-Mart’s low-income shoppers. The low-income shopper is even more financially stressed than people realize,” said analyst Brian Sozzi.

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