June 2004
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June 2004

New SAM'S CLUB Member Benefit Makes it Easy, Affordable for Small Businesses to Build Internet Web Sites


Many Smal Businesses Still Have No Online Presence Because of Expense and Complexity


BENTONVILLE, Ark., June 2/PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- SAM'S CLUB today announced it is introducting a service to help its members attract more customers and grow their businesses through the Internet. The new "Business Web Site" service, available to all SAM'S CLUB Plus members nationwide, delivers the power of the Internet to businesses of any size while eliminating the hassles usually associated with building and maintaining a Web site: time, technical complexity, and expense.

Beginning at just $5 per month, the SAM'S CLUB Business Web Sites service enables members to get started online with a professional Web site, domain name, and Internet e-mail. As the business grows, members can add advanced features, including reservations bookings, e-commerce, and e-mail marketing campaigns. An intuitive management console is included for managing and updating online programs.

"It may be surprising that close to 70 percent of small businesses do not have an online presence because it's just too costly or difficult to build and maintain a site," said Cara Kinzey, Vice President-Membership, SAM'S CLUB. "Our new Business Web Sites offering brings online promotion capability to even the smallest business in the true spirit of our low-cost philosophy. This is another example of how we continue to expand our benefit programs to help our members' businesses succeed."

Ease, Quality Are Top Priorities

SAM'S CLUB Plus members work with a SAM'S CLUB representative by phone or can go online to create a professional-looking Web presence in just a few minutes, rather than months of development time typically associated with launching a business online. The service offers nearly 100 industry-specific templates with tools for adding corporate logos, photos, and company-specific text. The complete online platform eliminates the need for members to download software, possess Web site coding capabilities, or provide any graphic design. A restaurant owner, for example, can select a template, upload the logo, post a menu, and begin processing take-out orders or online reservations -- all in the same day.

Simple business Internet packages are $5 per month or $50 per year and sites with e-commerce capabilities are $10 per month or $100 per year. These fees include the domain registration and set up. Phone and online technical support are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, free of charge.

"Companies typically would pay hundreds or thousands of dollars to develop a professional Web site, plus pay for ongoing support. SAM'S CLUB has dramatically reduced the cost to a price any business can afford," Kinzey said.

Affordable Custom Design Available

For companies seeking a unique design, advanced functionality, or some additional assistance, SAM'S CLUB is also offering custom design and development services beginning at $99.

"Our experienced services team is ready to help members immediately with their every online need." said Kinzey. "SAM'S CLUB is dedicated to providing a smooth, easy channel for businesses to grow using the resources of the Internet."

Members can learn details and get started today by visiting http://www.samsclub.com or calling 1-877-SAMSWEB. Plus is the premium level of SAM'S CLUB membership.

SAM'S CLUB has entered into a technology agreement with Vista.com to provide the Internet Platform for the Business Web Sites benefit. Vista.com is a private label supplier of Internet business applications for small business customers.

"We believe in removing the cost and complexity barriers associated with Internet applications for small business owners" said John Wall CEO of Vista.com. "I believe that our technology combined with SAM'S CLUB'S buying power will make the Internet a viable reality for millions of business owners."

About SAM'S CLUB

SAM'S CLUB (http://www.samsclub.com), a division of Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE: WMT - News), is the nation's largest warehouse chain in the United States serving small business owners and operators. The purchasing agent of choice, SAM'S CLUB provides every day low cost to more than 46 million entrepreneurs and consumers.