Sam's Club to offer free shipping for premium members

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NEW YORK (AP) -- Sam's Club is offering free shipping for premium members and simplifying its membership tiers.

Starting Wednesday, the Walmart-owned warehouse club will give free shipping on online orders for Plus members on 95 percent of the items it sells. Most shipping costs previously were based on the item's size and weight, the shipping method and the delivery address.

Free shipping and faster delivery have been key areas as retailers try to adapt to shoppers' shift online. Sam's Club is also aiming to better compete with Costco Wholesale Corp.

Sam's Club announced last month it was closing 63 U.S. clubs and converting some to e-commerce fulfillment centers. A union has estimated that could affect about 10,000 jobs. Sam's Club executives say they don't know yet how many will get new positions.