Retailer Commandment #1: Know Thy Customer

Jun 14, 2004

By George Anderson

Someone at Sam’s Club had an epiphany, and that’s bad news, to not only the likes of Blockbuster, but all others selling religious video titles such as the box office hit, “The
Passion of the Christ.”

Sam’s began advance selling 50-copy “church packs” of Mel Gibson’s movie last week to religious groups and Wal-Mart’s warehouse club division has already exceeded its own sales

Sam’s is selling “The Passion of the Christ” in packs of 50 DVDs for $898 ($17.96 each) and in VHS format for $795 ($15.90 each).

Typically, according to an Associated Press report, distributors specializing in the market handle bulk sales of films to religious groups.

“Sam’s Club has been a competitor with other Christian titles, but actually going into the church market is a different kind of world,” said Steve Ramsey, director of marketing
for Gospel Communications International.

Jolanda Stewart, a Sam’s Club spokesperson, said. “Focusing on small business is our mission, and that includes churches and religious segments.”

Moderator’s Comment: What are your thoughts on Sam’s Club marketing religious films directly to church groups?

This move may not have been divinely inspired, but it was inspired nonetheless. Kudos to Sam’s.
George Anderson – Moderator

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