A change to checkouts at Sam’s Club stores is in the works with the aim of speeding up wait times for shoppers, the head of its parent company Walmart has confirmed.
The membership-based warehouse store, Walmart’s version of Costco, will allow customers to scan and pay for their purchases with an app on their phone and simply walk out the door.
“At Sam’s Club US, we are implementing new check-out technology that allows our members to simply scan and leave after completing their transaction on their phone,” Walmart CEO Doug McMillon said on an earnings call last week. last week.
They pass through an airport-style scanner with AI cameras that analyze the carts to make sure all the items inside have been scanned and paid for on the phone app.
This means that an employee does not need to check their receipt upon departure and the member can simply leave the store.
Sam’s Club store exits can become clogged at peak times, which is a major problem for members.
Sam’s Club is the first retailer to implement this technology at the checkout and at scale, he said.
Artificial intelligence and computer vision at the checkout area will capture images of customers’ carts and verify payment for all items in their cart, the company said.
The new technology is being tested in 10 US stores. (Pictured: a location in Streamwood, Illinois)
The new Scan-and-Go system is It is being tested at 10 Sam’s Club locations in the US and will roll out to all 600 stores by the end of 2024.
It’s not yet clear if the new feature will come to Walmart stores.
Sam’s Club, owned by Walmart, is a members-only warehouse chain that sells bulk groceries, electronics and household items, much like Costco.
Their standard membership costs $50 a year, or their premium offering is $110 a year, both $10 less than their rival.
The new payment technology is designed to make the shopping experience easier for customers using the retailer’s Scan & Go system.
To use Scan & Go, shoppers must download the Sam’s Club mobile app. They can then scan product barcodes as they walk through the store, put the item in their cart, and then pay for the items in the app when they’re done.
This allows them to avoid lines at cashiers and self-checkouts, but as it stands, shoppers still have to show their digital receipt to a Sam’s Club staff member before they can check out.
Under the new system, artificial intelligence and computer vision at the checkout area will capture images of customers’ carts and verify payment for all items in their cart.
The technology also means that shoppers who have paid for their items at the register will also be able to leave without a worker checking their receipt.
Sam’s Club is the first retailer to implement this technology at the checkout and at scale, he added.
In 2020, Amazon introduced its Amazon Go stores, which allow shoppers to simply leave a location and their Amazon account will be automatically charged for the items they have taken.
According to the retailer’s website, there are only 23 Amazon Go stores in the entire United States.
“We are rolling out new checkout technology that allows our members to use Scan and Go to check out after completing their transaction on their phone, further enhancing their membership,” CEO Doug McMillon said on an earnings call last week.
The goal is to reduce queues at the club’s exit area, which can get stuck at peak times.
It comes after Walmart, the parent company of Sam’s Club, announced last week that it will close 23 stores in 2023, eight of which were in Illinois.
In total, its total number of stores fell by 102, from 4,717 in January 2023 to 4,615 a year later.
That’s because, in addition to the 23 closures, Walmart sold a total of 79 Moosejaw and Bonobos locations after selling the two retailers.
The closings were revealed in company filings after it also announced that its revenue in the most recent quarter rose 6 percent to $173 billion.
Last year, Walmart closed 23 stores across the United States, eight of which were in Illinois. A supercenter is scheduled to reopen as a neighborhood market in Atlanta, but it remains marked on the map.
They come despite an announcement in January that the company would expand by more than 150 stores over the next five years.
Walmart spokespeople said the stores it closed were not generating enough sales or performing as well as expected.
“We have nearly 5,000 stores across the United States and, unfortunately, some do not meet our financial expectations,” they said.
Costco and Sam’s Club have been rivals for four decades.
Costco began as Price Club in 1976 and today has more than 800 locations worldwide. Both warehouse clubs require membership to shop there.
Sam’s Club was founded in April 1983 by Walmart to counter the success of Costco.