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Now at Sam's Club: a $2.7 million dollar plane

Let's see, Ma'am. That's one bag of Fiesta Daze Salad Mix, two XXXL Weekend Warrior paint ball coveralls and a Cessna Citation Mustang. That comes to $2,734,623.24. Thank you for shopping at Sam's Club.

In its quest to go more upmarket, Sam's Club, a division of Wal-Mart, is selling a $2,734,600 Cessna Citation Mustang. That's the usual standard price for the plane, but the buyer gets to cut the waiting list. Ordinarily, you'd have to wait: Cessna is sold out until 2009. (The company will throw in a lifetime membership to Sam's Club too.)

The plane went on sale last week and can still be bought, a representative said.

Sam's Club is only selling one plane, and it's not really expecting to get into the aviation business, but the so-called once-in-a-lifetime packages are designed to give the store--where people often buy things like crates of discount fruit leather or blank CDs--a slightly different image. Wal-Mart is also pushing a new line of designer clothes and trying to sell more consumer electronics.

Sam's Club has some other deals too. For $44,000, four of you can kiss the good life goodbye at a Tony Bennett concert in London. For $71,000, you can get a Super Bowl weekend for four capped off with a VIP party thrown by former Miami Dolphins quarterback Dan Marino. You also get a Samsung TV and a Dan Marino jersey for that.

I'd also like to point out that, during this run-up to the maelstrom of shopping coming later this month called Black Friday, the Wal-Mart press representatives have been genuinely helpful. For some reason, retailers often don' have great PR. Years ago, getting information out of CompUSA was tougher than getting classified documents out of Interpol.