The store, Sam’s Club Now, will rely on the increasingly popular scan-and-go technology. Building on its scan-and-go app that it launched two years ago, Sam’s Club will be debuting a new a app — the Sam’s Club Now app — so that customers will pay for items on their phones instead of going through cashiers, according to a company statement.
“At its core, Sam’s Club Now will be a technology lab that doubles as a live, retail club,” said Jamie Iannone, CEO of SamsClub.com, in a statement. “It’s where we will incubate, test and refine technologies to help define the future of retail.”
The absence of cashiers won’t be the only difference in the new Texas location. At 32,000 square feet, the store is about a quarter of the size of an average Sam’s Club. Additionally, though membership will still be required as it is at other stores, the new store will include “Member Hosts” who will act more like concierges, according to the company. Sam’s Club’s new store follows a recent trend of companies embracing technology as a means of increasing efficiency in shopping processes.
Kroger has a “Scan, Bag, Go” app that allows customers to log their items while they shop. Meanwhile, Amazon reportedly could open up to 3,000 cashier-less Amazon Go stores by 2021. The move also comes at an important time for Sam’s Club. At the start of this year, the company announced that it would be moving or converting 63 stores. According to Iannone, the company is “very close” to opening Sam’s Club Now in Dallas.
More News On Sam’s Club – Walmart (NYSE: WMT)
A smaller-format Sam’s Club opening in Dallas’ Lower Greenville neighborhood will be “the epicenter of innovation” for the retailer.
In a blog posted Monday, the company announced that the shop will be called Sam’s Club Now and be a testing point for technology that could be deployed in clubs across the country. It will also double as a mobile-first shopping experience for customers.
Shoppers will be able to utilize the Sam’s Club Now app for the company’s Scan & Go feature, which allows customers to scan items as they shop. The app will also offer smart shopping lists that update as customers scan merchandise, wayfinding and navigation tools so shoppers can easily locate items, augmented reality that will show new ways to use merchandise and give stories about their sourcing, and one-hour order pickup.
Sam’s is also looking at ways to continue enhancing the app and other in-store technology. In the future, customers could use the app’s augmented reality feature to turn their carts into pirate ships or rockets. Additionally, the company is testing electronic shelf labels that can quickly update prices. And down the road, Sam’s says it will use more than 700 cameras in the club to help manage inventory and optimize the store’s layout.
Sam’s Club store employees will also be key to rolling out the innovations. Sam’s has introduced a new role called the Member Host, and they will be equipped “with new technology that will allow them to serve members better and faster,” the company said. Between 30 and 40 positions are expected to be created with the new store.
Walmart’s Innovation Center, located in Plano, is working with the Sam’s Club Technology team on the new features. Walmart (NYSE: WMT) opened the tech hub earlier this year, where it works on computer vision, using images and footage from existing cameras inside Walmart’s headquarters and stores to understand how to operate more efficiently.