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Warehouse club operator Sam's Club is targeting cash-strapped college students by offering collegiate memberships.
In a recent survey commissioned by Sam's Club, which is owned by Bentonville, Ark.-based Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., 89 percent of Americans flagged a shift in back-to-college purchasing priorities given current economic conditions, with food and beverages noted as a big expense.
Students can obtain a Sam's Club Collegiate Membership for $40, good for a year. They'll also receive a $15 gift card to help offset the cost of their first purchase, the company said. Each collegiate membership comes with a complimentary add-on card so roommates or housemates can share with shopping duties and the savings.
"We've always had a great relationship with college administrators, and many of our clubs serve college towns," said Mike Turner, v.p. of membership at Sam's Club. "This new college-specific membership will help us answer the needs of both parents and students, as they return or go to campus for the first time, and to make the most of their budgets."
College expenses are on the rise, and 66 percent of Americans note tuition as the leading concern as a new collegiate school year begins, according to Sam's Club.