I don't belong to Sam's Club, but I happened to be there last Thursday afternoon. My general impression is that it's like Costco, but not quite. I like Costco better.
Nevertheless, there I was, 3pm on a Thursday afternoon, walking through Sam's Club. I noticed a few things. First, you can't get chocolate yogurt at the little food stand at Sam's Club. That's not a primary reason to like or dislike a store, but if you were ever wondering, Costco has chocolate yogurt.
There were no samples. None. Nothing. Nada. Maybe they save the sampling for the weekend, I have no idea. I'm pretty sure that it should be rule number one at a store like this - have something to sample. Even if it was something I couldn't (or wouldn't) eat - there should be some reason to be there in the middle of the week rather than everyone bunching up together on the weekend, right?
Other than me, it seemed the everyone else there was either an immigrant from the Former Soviet Union, or an observant Jew. How do I know who they were? Well, they either had long skirts and sheitls (wigs) on, black velvet kippot (yarmulkes) and/or they were speaking Russian. And yes, I know some of you are sticklers out there, it is possible that they were also some combination of the two.
To be fair, there were a few people of color at the store who I believe I can safely assume were probably not observant Jews (based on the rotisserie chicken or other non-kosher meat in their carts) and not immigrants from Eastern Europe (based on the lack of accent).
Everyone, regardless of color, accent or religion seemed to need large quantities of paper towels. I thought maybe they were giving them away though I saw no evidence of this. Second to paper towels seemed to be toilet paper. Had I seen adding machine or cash register paper, I would have assumed that it all had something to do with rolled paper, but the commonalities seemed to end with the toilet paper.
I did learn one interesting thing that afternoon. It turns out that anyone can walk in and buy a fresh cheese pizza from their food stand without being an actual member. It was ridiculously inexpensive and meant that I didn't have to cook that night. And it turned out to be a pretty good pizza.
I'll always like Costco better and I doubt I'll ever be a member of Sam's Club, but it's good to know that I can always go ther for the important things.