I just came from my local Sam's Club and noticed that they have changed their battery manufacturer from JCI (Johnson Controls) to Deka / East Penn. I was told this is a new account for East Penn and the Duracell branded East Penn batts may not yet be in all stores. If the batteries still say Energizer on the label they are JCI batteries...
I took some pics at the store and then called Deka / East Penn tech support and spoke with a very nice lady, and very knowledgeable, named Carol G.. She informed me that they DO NOT build the Sam's Club, O'Reilly Auto Parts, NAPA or West Marine batteries any differently and they are all the SAME. They all roll off the same assembly line
and get the sticker for the retailer they are going to.
The only thing you want to be certain of is the type. Deka makes dual purpose and deep cycle marine batteries. NAPA & WM sell both the dual purpose and deep cycle versions and Sam's only has the deep cycle versions.
Flooded Deep Cycle Marine Batteries:
The batteries Sam's Club is buying are the Deka / East Penn deep cycle marine batteries and NOT the dual purpose/starting versions. This is GOOD!!! What is even better is that these are the EXACT SAME battery that West Marine sells only for LESS THAN HALF THE PRICE! These batts have a 12 month free replacement warranty, same as West Marine.
As an example the Group 27 Deep Cycle at Sam's Club is $69.87 the SAME EXACT battery at West Marine is $169.99 (2010 catalog price).
There is absolutely NO DIFFERENCE in the WM battery compared to the Sam's Club, NAPA or other resellers battery other than the label/sticker. Sam's is using the Duracell brand name on these East Penn batts but they are the same high quality battery.
They offer two 6V GC2 batts one with a 215 Ah rating and one with a 230Ah rating and are $78.87 (GC2) and $84.87 (EGC2).
Once again these are the SAME EXACT AGM batteries WM sells and they stock the group 24, 27 & 31 and 6V AGM's.. As an example the group 31 AGM at Sam's Club is $166.32 and at West Marine this SAME BATTERY runs $299.99. The 6V AGM is even more drastic at Sam's it runs $159.73 and at West Marine it costs $389.99!!
This new deal between Sam's Club and East Penn represents a tremendous value for the American boater..