Sam’s Club Wants To Give Its Small Business-Owning Customers Some Credit

Persistent unemployment nationwide is threatening to inhibit consumer spending.
Against this backdrop of uncertainty, retailers are taking bold steps. Sam’s Club, for one, is introducing a program in which it facilitates loans for shoppers of up to $25,000, backed by the Small Business Administration.
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According to The New York Times, a little under half of Sam’s members are small-business customers, and they account for a little more than half of the revenue at the retailer. As its net sales began to slip last fall, Sam’s surveyed small-business customers and found that tight credit was partly to blame.
In the survey, said Catherine Corley, vice president for member services at Sam’s, a division of Wal-Mart, “fully one-third said ‘I didn’t buy what I needed to buy at Sam’s Club because I didn’t have the money.’ It really motivated us to say, ‘We’ve got to find some solutions.’ ”
“We’re not necessarily trying to be a bank, we’re just trying to bring to them, much as we do with products, the things they need,” Ms. Corley said.

About David Burn

I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am head of brand strategy and creative direction at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.