New Sam's Club in Gulfport goes "green"

By Danielle Thomas - bio | email

GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - A company that prides itself on trying to save people money is now trying to do its part to help our planet.

On January 22, a brand new Sam's Club is scheduled to open in Gulfport. Store officials say the 138,000-square-foot building is part of a company wide push to construct a more environmentally friendly facility.

From stocking shelves to setting up registers, Sam's Club employees have a lot of work to do before welcoming shoppers. Store officials say to help keep sales prices low, they've found a way to cut overhead costs.

"This particular unit has added over 100 skylights which, on a bright sunny day, has the effect of the lights that will dim down and save energy throughout the club," said Manager Gordon Mingus. "Also the flooring has been made out of recycled fibers, byproducts, which was a lot cheaper and safer on the earth."

Sam's Club officials say the Gulfport store is the first in the deep south with a green aisle. There shoppers will find several new lines of energy efficient products.

Mingus said, "This particular aisle that you're looking at is a prototype. As we start opening up new clubs and changing out, all of the clubs in the U.S. will have these items in it."

"Our company is in business to help our members save money. One of the items that will do that is our CFL light bulbs which, if you install these into your home, will save you quite a bit of money over a course of time," said Mingus.

There is a dog bed made of recycled water bottles and eco-friendly laundry detergent. Store officials say some vendors are pitching in by reducing the amount of product packaging.

"The packaging is smaller. So what happens is you're using less cardboard packaging," said Mingus. "You can get more product on the pallet, which reduces the amount of pallets on the trailer. Now you can bring more product to the club in less time and save in energy that way."

Store officials say the new Sam's Club will open at 10 a.m.