Sam's Club is an American chain of membership-only retail warehouse clubs owned and operated by Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., founded in 1983 and named after Wal-Mart founder Sam Walton. As of 2008, the Sam's Club chain serves more than 47 million U.S. members.] Sam's Club ranks second in sales volume among warehouse clubs behind Costco, despite the fact that Sam's has more retail locations.
Its major competitors are Costco and BJ's Wholesale Club. As of January 31, 2009, Sam's Club operated 602 membership warehouse clubs in 47 U.S. states (Oregon, Rhode Island and Vermont are the only states without a Sam's Club), as well as Puerto Rico, Brazil, China and Mexico. Locations typically range in size from 70,000–190,000 sq ft (6,500–18,000 m2); with an average club size of approximately 133,000 sq ft (12,400 m2).