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  • Sam's West, Inc. is an American chain of membership-only retail warehouse clubs owned and operated by Walmart, founded in 1983 and named after Walmart founder Sam Walton. As of 2012 Sam's Club chain serves 47 million U.S. and Puerto Rican members and is the 8th largest U.S. retailer. As of January 31, 2008, Sam's Club ranks second in sales volume among warehouse clubs with 57 billion in sales behind Costco, despite the fact that Sam's has more retail locations. Walmart does not release individual financial data for Sam's Club, other than year over year performance. Sam's Club reported an 8.4% sales increase in 2012, 3.9% in 2011, -1.4% in 2010, and 4.9% in both 2009 and 2008. This is significantly higher growth than Walmart U.S. stores, who did not have higher than 0.3% growth since 2009. Its major competitors are Costco and BJ's Wholesale Club. As of May 1, 2012, Sam's Club operated 640 membership warehouse clubs, the vast majority in the U.S., but also in Brazil, China and Mexico.

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