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Sam's Club CEO: Members 'started shopping quite aggressively' for the holiday season

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Walmart-owned Sam’s Club is betting shoppers will go big this holiday season.

CEO Kathryn McLay told Yahoo Finance’s All Markets Summit that members have “already started shopping quite aggressively.”

“We have been surveying our members, and they told us recently that 20% of them have already started filling their shopping list,” McLay said. “So members are getting out there early.”

The membership-only warehouse club expects customers to host bigger holiday gatherings this year. So, Sam’s Club is stocking larger turkeys, taller Christmas trees, doubling the size of popular holiday side dishes like mashed and sweet potatoes, and introducing 25 new toy brands.

McLay says Sam’s Club is also hosting twice as many in-store holiday shopping events this season compared to last year and launched new offerings, including a direct-to-home wine delivery service and its first holiday preview catalog.

“We're seeing at the moment that our members are still buying COVID-related items like masks and tests, but at the same time, they're also buying those celebratory products, like party trays and cookie trays,” she said.

Sam's Club decks out its stores with Christmas decorations even before Halloween, as members shop earlier than ever for the holidays.
Sam's Club decks out its stores with Christmas decorations even before Halloween, as members shop earlier than ever for the holidays.

Unlike its smaller rivals, Sam’s Club is able to leverage Walmart’s (WMT) muscle when it comes to navigating the supply chain crisis.

Walmart is chartering its own ships, converting shipments to less congested ports, and adding storage capacity to make sure its shelves will be stocked for the holiday season.

“Our Christmas product has all been shipped and it's either here or on its way and imminent, so we feel really confident about our lead into Christmas,” McLay said.

While you may find stocked shelves this holiday season, Sam’s Club is trying not to pass higher prices on to its members.

“We have been working actively with our supply community over the last six months looking at how we handle inflation,” said McLay. “Because members pay to shop with us, we don't want to be a pass-through, so we have worked really hard with our suppliers to do as much absorbing and mitigating as we possibly can.”

Alexis Christoforous is an anchor at Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter @AlexisTVNews.