With more consumers returning back to shopping in physical stores, wholesale retailers Costco and Sam’s Club are bringing back demos and free food samples — a draw for customers and a key tool to promote sales of various products.
Starting this week, Sam’s Club is relaunching its “Taste & Tips” sampling and demo program across its 600 U.S. locations. The program was discontinued in March last year as more consumers embraced contactless shopping options.
While the relaunch of the program is a welcome news for shoppers, it is being brought back with some modifications. For the time being, free samples and demos will only be offered during the weekends and consumers will be provided with sealed samples in limited quantities, CNN Business reported. The company is also looking into more innovative and immersive sampling experiences, such as offering samples out of a food truck and bringing samples to members as they are checking out at the register.
“Over the past year, our members’ shopping behaviors have evolved. Today, more than ever, members want to do more than just shop when they come to our clubs — they want to have an experience,” said Megan Crozier, chief merchandising officer for Sam’s Club.
Sam’s Club’s move to bring back demos and free samples follows Costco’s last week’s announcement of its plan to gradually bring back full sampling. The company is bringing back food samples at roughly 30 percent of its stores to relaunch the program, while the remaining stores will begin offering them by the end of this month. The company is seeking to safely deliver the samples by offering them one customer at a time and by using Plexiglass protectors.