The area's newest Sam's Club will open tomorrow morning, offering local business owners and families everything from electronics to fresh produce.
The club features a new layout intended to make shopping faster and easier by placing the most-purchased products in more convenient locations. The design and expanded merchandise selection are being introduced this year to locations throughout the country.
More than 170 associates, along with community leaders and local dignitaries, will celebrate the official grand opening with a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 8 a.m., Thursday. Doors will open to members at 8:30 a.m.
The 139,000-square-foot facility is located at 10385 Big Bend Road in Riverview, near the intersection of U.S. 301. The club will anchor the existing Riverview Bell Plaza.
“District 56 will benefit economically by the 150-plus jobs created by the new Sam’s Club location’s arrival,” said state Rep. Rachel Burgin, R-Riverview. “I am excited to welcome Sam’s Club as part of the greater Riverview community.”
"I am excited to welcome another Sam’s Club to eastern Hillsborough County," said Hillsborough County Commission chairman Al Higginbotham. "The jobs created by this new location will benefit the associates, their families and our community as a whole."
“The new Sam’s Club in Riverview is a welcome addition to this growing community,” said Tanya Doran, executive director of the Greater Riverview Chamber of Commerce.
The club will feature a variety of merchandise that reflects the growing diversity among warehouse club shoppers.
“More and more people turn to Sam’s Club to help save money in this tight economy,” said club manager Tracy Snelgrove. “Small business owners, families and even college students are finding that their money goes further at Sam’s Club.”
Constructed with environmentally friendly materials and energy-efficient fixtures, the club offers members a pharmacy featuring $4 and $10 generic prescriptions as well as deals on branded prescriptions, an optical department, hearing center and a digital photo center.
In addition to fresh produce, frozen foods, wine and refrigerated beer, the club offers freshly baked breads and pastries and a deli department with rotisserie chicken, ribs and freshly prepared meals.
Riverview residents can fill up their fuel tanks at the new, 12-pump Sam’s Club fuel station, offering gasoline and diesel fuel.
A home efficiency aisle focuses on merchandise members can use to decrease their home and business energy usage, such as CFL light bulbs, LED light fixtures, Energy Star air-conditioning units and small kitchen appliances.
“We offer the office supplies, food and cleaning items that Sam’s Club Members have come to expect,” said Snelgrove. “We also offer the latest technology for home and office, designer handbags and high-quality jewelry.”
Small business owners and operators will also have access to additional services to help increase productivity and profitability including small business loans, merchant credit card processing and numerous other benefits for their business provided by third-party vendors.
The club plans to employ approximately 170 associates. The club’s personnel coordinator has worked for Sam’s Club for nearly 20 years, and seven associates have worked for Sam’s Club or Walmart for more than 10 years. Club manager Snelgrove started her career with Sam’s Club working as an hourly associate in Bradenton in 1998.
As part of the Sam’s Club commitment to give back to the communities it serves, associates from the Riverview club have selected several local organizations to receive a total of $15,000 in grants from the Walmart Foundation. Recipients include Critter Adoption and Rescue Effort, the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office, the Hillsborough Education Foundation, the Sun City Center Emergency Squad, The Mary and Martha House and the YMCA Camp Cristina.
In its continued support of small businesses, Sam’s Club will present a $20,000 grant from the Walmart Foundation to the Hispanic Business Initiative Fund of Florida (HBIF), as part of the Riverview club’s grand opening. HBIF is the leading Hispanic nonprofit economic development organization in Florida specializing in bilingual business development to Hispanic entrepreneurs trying to establish or expand their business.
Last year in the Tampa Bay area, HBIF assisted 400 area entrepreneurs with business development services and created or retained more than 250 jobs. In addition, 785 entrepreneurs participated in the Hispanic Business Seminar Series and business start-up orientations.
The new Sam’s Club will also fight hunger in the area by making regular product donations to Feeding America Tampa Bay, which serves 10 counties in West Central Florida. The program is part of a partnership between Sam’s Club and Feeding America. Sam’s Club locations across the country regularly donate perishable food items to area hunger relief agencies, helping fight hunger in their communities and reducing food waste. Last year, Sam’s Club donated more than 13 million pounds to Feeding America, the nation’s largest hunger-relief charity.
Sam’s Club, the nation’s eighth largest retailer and a leading membership warehouse club, offers products and services to more than 47 million members in clubs across the U.S., as well as in Brazil, China and Mexico. Members save an average of 30 percent over grocery and specialty retailers.