Sam's Club (NYSE:WMT) announced a new suite of products that include HR and payroll services, legal solutions and healthcare options for small businesses.
"Sam's is the first mass retailer to provide a comprehensive suite of services dedicated to America's small businesses," said Rosalind Brewer, president and CEO of Sam's Club. The company has teamed up with Aetna, Execupay and LegalZoom in order to help its members save not only money, but time.
Through a process of data collection and insight teams, Sam's Club found that its members needed help in five major areas: healthcare, payroll, legal, payment processing and travel. As a result, the company put together a suite of services that can change the landscape of how these small businesses manage their teams.
Brewer stressed that the new suite of services was designed with specific criteria in mind: simplicity, affordability, liability, consumer perception, member care and flexibility.
Sam's Club Aetna Marketplace is an affordable healthcare option that lets employees choose and manage individual plans. "We are the only retailer offering small business healthcare exchange," said Jill Turner-Mitchael, SVP of health and wellness.
Sam's Club is already invested in the health of its members, through discounted prescription drug options, immunizations on site and at places of business and through 10 free health screenings a year to members and the public, said Turner-Mitchael. Now, with the help of Aetna, healthcare can be more affordable and simpler for employers to navigate. Sam's Club business members with two or more employees in 18 states have exclusive access to personalized plan options from Aetna.
Through research, Sam's also discovered that 70 percent of small businesses don't engage in legal services at all, "and many lack the time and expertise," said Seong Ohm, senior VP of membership services. Therefore, through the partnership with LegalZoom, businesses will now have access to an independent counselor to help incorporate a business, protect ideas, set up wills and help with estate planning and general counseling. "Members get up to 25 percent off LegalZoom products through Sam's," added Song.
Finally, Sam's new suite offers a payroll and HR solution through a partnership with Execupay.
Through the program, Sam's Club members will be able to outsource their payroll needs while receiving up to 40 percent savings on solutions including online payroll, time and attendance, direct deposit and automated payroll tax filings/payments.
There are also new enhancements to Sam's Club's already existing partnership with First Data. Now, employers will be able to run an app on smartphone, tablet or computer that does everything from scheduling employee shifts and managing staff, to driving loyalty and tracking inventory.
Sam's Club also announced that next month the company's Club Travel service, which offers members up to 50 percent savings on everything from rental cars to local attractions, will be available via mobile app so that members can book travel while on the go.
Recalling that Sam's Club was built on small businesses, Brewer noted that the company remains loyal to this customer base, which includes all industries from daycares to flower shops.
Sam's Club has struggled to perform relative to its closest competitor, Costco. Management has enacted a series of changes in recent months to better align with the retailer's core small business customer. In June, it launched Sam's Club Travel, a savings-centered online booking service for club members for business and leisure travel needs.
-See this Sam's Club press release
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