Sam's Club changing its membership; ecommerce to compete with Amazon, Costco

Sam's Club, a unit of Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT),  will consolidate its membership structure for customers from three options down to two and improve its e-commerce offerings by adding free shipping. The moves are a part of a strategic shift to turn Sam's Club around after losing out to other retailers like Costco (NASDAQ:COST) and Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN). In January, Sam's Club shut down dozens of stores and laid off thousands of workers.

Amazon is pushing to expand its foothold in the medical supplies business. The Wall Street Journal reports that the company is looking to expand the medical supplies business into a major supplier creating a marketplace in which hospitals could shop to stock emergency rooms, operating suites and outpatient facilities, as well as competing with distributors. This comes as Amazon is reportedly eyeing an entry into the pharmacy business as well.

JC Penney will close its distribution center and customer service operations in Wisconsin, cutting some 670 jobs there. The move comes as JC Penney reduces its supply chain network, which is "oversized relative to its national store footprint." It will shift the work to facilities in Kansas and Ohio.