Watch out Costco.
The chain of club wholesale stores (owned by Wal-Mart) will unveil it’s very own line of house wines this year. The retailer is probably hoping to enjoy some of the success had by Costco, which has the honor of being the top wine retailer in the country—wine accounts for 20% of the store’s sales every year. Sam’s Club does sell wine at the moment, but not under it’s own brand.
Sam’s first wine is an $8 Chardonnay from California's central coast, according to Fortune. Next up will be a Cabarnet from Napa Valley and for those looking for an inexpensive way to be fancy, they’ll also be rolling out a prosecco and a champagne.
The wholesaler is currently undergoing a push to upgrade the quality of it’s products across the board. For instance, they recently began carrying a gourmet olive oil from Italy under it’s house brand, Member’s Mark (the equivalent at Costco's Kirkland). Sam’s Club used to carry 21 house brands, but hoping to make their merchandise more streamlined, they cut that number down to just one.
This is all part of a push to stock fancier food in their aisles, in order to lure in wealthier customers. Sam’s Club CEO called the move a “reset for our business.” Right now, there are 650 stores nationwide usually near Wal-Mart stores in lower income areas; the company wants to start opening ten more per year in more “affluent” communities.
“They pay a membership fee so they expect to find unique items," Chandra Holt, vice president of Sam's Club's private brands, told Fortune.
That means they’ll be introducing 300 new items to their stores, in addition to the wines, so look out for plenty more exciting new treats to pop at Sam’s Club in the very near future.