Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Like Costco and Sam's Club, Bi-Mart stores are membership stores; unlike those chains, its members-only policy started as a work-around to fair trade laws established in the United States in the 1930s by laws such as the Miller-Tydings Act . The membership fee is much lower than other membership stores- $5 buys you a lifetime membership.
Bi-Mart's first store opened in Yakima, Washington in 1955 and did not open its second store until 1962. In 1976, it was bought by Pay-N-Save , and beginning in 1984, Bi-Mart's corporate parents were bought and merged into other companies several times, culminating with the 1996 purchase by Rite Aid.
In 1997, Bi-Mart's senior management and a Portland-based venture capital firm bought the company; they sold it to its employees as of March 1, 2004 for $94 million, which included $12.5 million contributed from their 401(k) plan.
Lucky Number Tuesday
One of the special features of a Bi-Mart membership is that you are eligible to win on their Lucky Number Tuesdays. Each store chooses approximately 50 card numbers from among their own store's membership numbers to win a variety of prizes, from the "Big Prize" (up to $300 value; only one of these is chosen) to the small prize in which only the last number of your 6 or 7 digit Bi-Mart number must match (small prizes such as a box of tissues, a jar of honey, etc.).
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