Sam's Club is already seeing an uptick in spending as its customers spend less on gas, and the momentum is building week over week, CEO and President Rosalind Brewer told CNBC on Thursday.
"We saw the turn just before the holiday. We saw the oil prices moving and gas prices moving at the same time. We saw traffic tick up," she said during a CNBC "Squawk Box" interview from the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.
"There are some online membership concepts that you wouldn't traditionally think were competitors. I do view Amazon Prime as a competitor," she said, referring to Amazon's member program.
Sam's Club is combining digital and physical operations and will compete in the same space as Amazon, she added. She insisted that digital advancements Sam's Club is making will outpace those of its most direct competitor, Costco.
Brewer also responded to the announcement from health-care provider Aetna that it would raise its base wages to $16 per hour. She said only about 6,000 of Sam's Club's U.S. employees make minimum wage. Further, Sam's Club's is focused on helping associates advance to higher positions within the business rather than raising starting pay, she said.
"One thing you have to really think about at Sam's and at Wal-Mart is we build careers," she said. "When you think about what's a starting rate at our facilities, we don't want you to be a cashier for the rest of your life. We want you to grow a career."