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Sam’s Club launches service letting customers make purchases online

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BENTONVILLE, Ark. (AP) — Wal-Mart's Sam's Club division launched an online shopping component Tuesday for the members-only warehouse.

Among its offerings, the site allows members in nine states to order items online and then pick them up at a local Sam's Club. It also allows new members to sign up electronically.

"With an online presence, our members can shop Sam's Club directly from their homes and businesses at their convenience. And, members will have access to select merchandise that may not be available in the (actual stores)," said division president and CEO Tom Grimm.

The division of Bentonville-based Wal-Mart Stores Inc. announced at the company's annual meeting earlier this year that the site was coming. Wal-Mart itself launched an Internet site in 1996 and retooled it in January, part of the company's effort to catch up in Internet retailing.

The "Click 'n' Pull" service is available in Alaska, Arkansas, Florida, Missouri, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Texas, Utah and Washington. More states will be added, the company said.