In a shot fired across rival Costco’s bow, Sam’s Club has announced plans to undersell its hot dog and soda combo in an effort to play up the company’s low prices and bring in more customers. At all Sam’s Club Cafes, the all-beef hot dog and drink deal will now be a lean $1.38.
Along with its nice price on rotisserie chickens, Costco’s hot dog-drink combo is a favorite among shoppers. But as Fortune noted, Sam’s Club is cheaper and, unlike at Costco, you don’t need to be a member to eat there.
Speaking during Walmart’s (Sam’s Club’s parent company) third quarter earnings call on Nov. 15, president, CEO and director Doug McMillon emphasized improving everyday shopping while the cost of everyday items is still stubbornly high, stating, “We’re helping families stretch their dollars as we head into the holidays.”
“The members’ dollar’s going further at Sam’s Club too, with racks of lamb and lobster tails priced more than 40% lower than last year, said McMillon. “We’re also making the everyday shopping trip better by lowering the price of the cafe hotdog combo by nearly 10% to $1.38.”
Sam’s Club’s price cut comes less than two months after Costco pledged to keep its tasty combo at $1.50. Although it raised prices for soda by 10 cents and chicken bakes by $1 in July, Costco CFO Richard Galanti has been adamant about the wholesaler not raising the price of its popular hot-dog-and-soda deal, which has remained at $1.50 since the 1980s.
According to the New York Post, when asked during a September earnings call if Costco would adjust costs elsewhere to keep its popular combo cheap, Galanti confirmed, “Those things help us be more aggressive in other areas, or as you mentioned, hold the price on the hot dog and the soda a little longer — forever.”
This echoes the retired former CEO and co-founder of Costco Jim Sinegal, who once famously told the cost-concerned current president and CEO Craig Jelinek, “If you raise the effing hot dog, I will kill you. Figure it out.”
During Walmart’s third quarter earnings call, the company’s better than expected numbers amid persistent high inflation were noted. According to their 3Q press statement, total revenues were $152.8 billion (up 8.7% compared to the same quarter last year) and adjusted earnings per share $1.50. Sam’s Club’s comparative-store sales increased 10.0% and 23.9% on a two-year stack. Membership income increased 8.0% with member count reaching an all-time high.
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