July 5, 2022
Some of us have recently discarded tires at a Sam’s Club Tire & Battery Center. And pieces of those discarded tires could be in one of our floor mats. We’ll explain why in just a minute.
But first, at Sam’s Club we are embracing a regenerative mindset as we develop Member’s Mark products, placing nature, humanity, and our members at the center of our innovation and renovation. And the Member’s Mark Antimicrobial Diamond Scraper Entrance Mat is a great example of that. Yes, we know it’s just a floor mat, but when you think of the actual circle of its inanimate life, it’s actually pretty special.
Take Constantin, Kendall and Mike’s word for it. They’re experts. Constantin Ene, Senior Product Development Manager; Kendall Sallee, Senior Brand and Execution Manager; and Mike McCarthy, Senior Merchant were key in the development of the mat. The team leveraged the My Member’s Mark Community, a group formed in 2019 that includes more than 40,000 Sam’s Club members who provide feedback and input on Member’s Mark items, to find out what was most important to them when purchasing a mat.
"Listening to our Members rank the most important attributes in a mat led us to move to an antimicrobial solution on their behalf," Sallee said.
And so, they partnered with their supplier to update the item from top to bottom… literally.
"96% of the surface of the mat is made with material from recycled PET bottles, which results in higher water absorption than our previous mat," McCarthy said. "Additionally, the antimicrobial agent is incorporated into the carpet fiber, which equates to longer lasting performance of the mat compared to our previous one. And 97% of the base of the mat is constructed with recycled crumb rubber from tires."
That recycled crumb rubber McCarthy is talking about comes in part from returned tires of our members. Here’s that life cycle we were talking about earlier! Members discard their tires at Sam’s Club auto centers. A third-party collects those tires and shreds them into small pieces. The tire shreds are then processed into crumb rubber. The third-party supplies the supplier with its crumb rubber to help them make the mats.
It takes one passenger tire to make one mat. Our supplier is projecting to make 400,000 of these Member’s Mark mats this year, so that could save up to 400,000 tires from the landfill. Our private brand is focused on being more regenerative and we love that through this product we can use recycled items to build new products.
This is one instance of how Sam’s Club is working to improve existing items, while also setting regenerative expectations for new ones.
"This makes me proud of our Member’s Mark brand and what we aspire to stand for by having fantastic quality items our Members get to enjoy while also reducing our impact on our world," Sallee said.
The mat is currently available online and in most Clubs with plans to be in all Clubs by the end of July 2022.