Sam's Club, shown here, is offering membership waivers to military personnel and families, but not to federal employees who need it more. What gives? (Image Source: Walmart Corporate)
In light of the federal government shutdown, local and national businesses have stepped up efforts to help federal workers out while they go without pay for some time. We have covered this at length, and it goes to show the great efforts that people are willing to help these workers. Sam's Club, on the other hand, is only somewhat helpful in regards to the government shutdown. Today, the chain warehouse club Sam's Club announced that military personnel and their families will have new membership or membership renewal fees waived as long as the shutdown stands. However, Sam's Club is not extending that offer to federal employees, who need it more.
Sam's Club, like other warehouse clubs such as Costco, rely on a membership, in that a person signs up for a yearly membership to be allowed entry into the store and buy things at a cheaper rates. In the case of Sam's Club, the cheapest membership is $45, with the best option at $100. The reason for supporting military personnel is quite simple: While soldiers and their families continuing receiving their paychecks, the commissaries and stores located on and around military bases are closed as part of the government shutdown. The soldiers need a place to shop for basic goods.
A noble intention, sure, but there is a bigger problem with this: Soldiers are getting their paychecks, and on-time. Federal workers, who outnumber active-duty personnel, are not getting paid on time, if they are getting paid at all, during the government shutdown. They could really use Sam's Club's membership waivers, and the warehouse club is not offering them any. In the so-called "National Capital Region," there are five Sam's Clubs, located in the commuter suburbs that surround DC in southwestern Maryland and Northern Virginia, and there are countless others in areas where the federal government involved.
Sam's Club could stand to gain some form of PR boost from backing federal workers, especially given their parent company, Wal-Mart, has taken a few hits here and there recently. Supporting soldiers and their families alone just seems very jingoistic. Why can Sam's Club not also include federal workers, who will need the savings their stores offer more? Is that too much to ask?