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    Sam's Club Offering $10 Membership for 10 Weeks

    The carrot of a short-term membership is tailor-made for today's uncertain economy.

    In an obvious bid to attract new members, warehouse club chain Sam's Club for the first time is offering a $10 membership good for 10 weeks, for families and businesses not currently members.

    The Wal-Mart subsidiary will hold two weekend events, Oct. 17-19 and Oct. 24-26, for consumers to sign up for the special membership during regular club hours.

    The club chain already offers several options for annual membership, including a $40 one for individuals; and a $35 membership for business customers that allows them to shop during special "business only" hours. But this is its first try at a short-term temporary membership. The chain is looking for a spike in membership as the holidays approach, in a year in which the general expectation is for holiday retail sales to be dismal.

    "We know we can easily demonstrate the value at Sam's Club in just one shopping trip," said Mike Turner, vp, membership at Sam's Club. "With a temporary 10 week membership we'll be able to give those who sign up a good chance to see what we can do for them everyday, and through the holidays."

    Sam's is spreading the word about the membership deal through national radio ads this week, and plans newspaper advertising as well. The advertising features 10 reasons for joining Sam's, such as USDA choice meats and $4 generic drugs, along with food demos.

    Seasonal merchandise such as tree trimmings for less than $100 as well as holiday photo cards as low as 35 cents each, also made Sam's top 10 list.

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