Walmart is expanding its Scan & Go technology to 100 additional U.S. stores this year.
The technology lets customers scan items as they shop and pay using their mobile phones, allowing them to skip checkout lines. Similar technology is already in place at the company’s Sam’s Club membership warehouse locations, and has also been piloted in select markets where Walmart has a dominant presence, including Dallas-Fort Worth; Orlando, Fla.; and northwest Arkansas.
The expansion will bring the devices to stores in another 33 states this year, the Bentonville, Ark.-based company said. As part of the test, some Walmart stores have been outfitted with Scan & Go kiosks, where customers can pick up easy-to-use handheld devices. This allows them to try out the service before downloading it to their phones. Similar to Walmart Pay, Scan & Go securely stores credit or debit card information; once customers are done shopping and have paid for their items, they seamlessly exit the store via the Mobile Express lane.
Walmart is not alone in exploring “checkout-free” shopping options as retailers fight to provide additional convenience for shoppers enabled by smartphones. The Kroger Co. is reportedly preparing to expand its Scan, Bag & Go option to 400 stores this year, while Amazon remains at work on a checkout-free convenience store in Seattle store called Amazon Go. Ahold Delhaize for several years has offered a similar technology called Scan It.