Sam's Club is set to open the doors of its Dallas innovation center that is a quarter of the size of its average club at only 32,000 square feet and will act as the testing grounds for technology including cashierless, mobile checkout and augmented reality laced throughout the store.
The new location, which will be dubbed Sam's Club Now, will be the first of its kind to offer a mobile-first experience driven by the new Sam’s Club Now app that will allow shoppers to scan each item with their smartphone and check out with a single scan by an associate of a QR code that encompasses their entire basket.
Augmented reality will be used to show shoppers different ways to use items around the store and will also feature information such as how items are sourced. Iannone shared that other fun plays on augmented reality are in the works, such as turning the shoppers' cart into a pirate ship or rocket.
Michael Jaszczyk, CEO of GK Software USA, said the wholesaler's move toward mobility through scan and go and smart shopping "demonstrates how retailers are realizing that mobile phones are an essential tool for delivering an excellent customer experience."
"Shoppers are actively looking for tools and apps that provide them a frictionless trip to the store, and eliminating the traditional pain points at checkout, or remembering past purchase data will do just that," he said. "Sam’s Club’s announcement recognizes that they’re focusing on providing improved convenience and speed to their consumers, which ultimately drives more loyalty.”
"We’re committed to redefining work in all areas of the club," Iannone wrote. "We know our associates love being on the floor helping members. So we’ll design and test new tech-empowered ways of working that give our associates and our members the best Sam’s Club experience."
Iannone added that Sam's Club is using all available technology, including "computer vision, AR (augmented reality), machine learning, artificial intelligence, robotics, just to name a few," in order to "redefine the retail experience today and into the future."