Sam’s Club is opening a futuristic new store in Dallas, Texas, without registers, checkout lines, or cashiers.
The store, called Sam’s Club Now, is about a quarter the size of a regular Sam’s Club warehouse and will serve as a testing ground for new technologies, including self-service returns, digital price tags, and Scan & Go, which lets shoppers check out using a smartphone.
“This club is going to be unlike any other club we have in our portfolio,” Sam’s Club president and CEO John Furner said on a call with reporters.
Here’s what it’s like:
To shop the store, customers must download the Sam’s Club Now app.
The app is where customers will build their shopping lists and pay for items.
“The No. 1 question we get from our members in the club is: ‘Where is an item?'” said Jamie Iannone, CEO of SamsClub.com.
The app will generate a map of the best route through the store’s aisles for shoppers to find everything on their shopping list.
It will also answer shoppers’ verbal inquiries about the location of specific products.
In addition to helping customers find items, the app will also serve as a checkout register. As customers add items to their shopping carts, they will scan the products’ barcodes with their smartphones.
Scanned items will be automatically removed from customers’ shopping lists. This is meant to make it easier for shoppers to see which products they have left on their lists.
Once customers are finished shopping, they will present a barcode to a Sam’s Club Now employee.
The employee will scan the code to complete their purchase.
Since the store will have no registers, it won’t have any need for designated cashiers. Instead, Sam’s Club employees called “member hosts” will roam the store to assist shoppers with their needs.
“Think of these associates as the concierge of the club,” Jamie Iannone, CEO of SamsClub.com, wrote in a blog post on the new store. “We’ll empower them with new technology that will allow them to serve members better and faster.”
Sam’s Club executives say there are no plans right now to replicate the store, which Furner referred to as an “innovation lab” and “tech incubator.”
Instead, the company will use the format to test new technologies and determine whether to roll out those services to its stores nationwide.
“We’re out to win,” Furner said. “This means we have to keep eliminating friction for both associates and for our members.”
Source: Business Insider