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New Sam’s Club tests retail future

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BENTONVILLE, Ark. — Sam’s Club Now, a new club set to open in Dallas, represents “the epicenter of innovation” for the membership club, chief executive officer Jamie Iannone said in a blog post last month on the Sam’s Club website.

“There won’t be another club like it. It will be a mobile-first shopping experience powered by the new Sam’s Club Now app,” Iannone said. “At its core, Sam’s Club Now will be a technology lab that doubles as a live retail club. It’s where we will incubate, test and refine technologies to help define the future of retail.”

Sam’s Club Now is a key element of the innovation strategy unveiled in June, Iannone said. “And here’s what we already know — the future of retail is as much about people as it is about technology.”

Key to the Sam’s Club Now experience is the Scan & Go app, which Iannone said has grown in popularity since it was unveiled two years ago. “More than 90% of members who try Scan & Go use it again on their next trip, and regular use is up 40% this year. That’s because it makes shopping easier, and members like that,” he said.

“So we’re taking Scan & Go and making it the foundation of the new Sam’s Club Now app, which all members will use to shop here. This will be an interactive experience, and they’ll help us test and refine new features before we launch them nationally,” he said.

Sam’s Club expects to continually experiment with the app in order to be able to add new functionality, said Iannone, who used his blog post to highlight features already incorporated into the app, including smart shopping lists, voice search navigation, augmented reality and one-hour pickup.

“The Sam’s Club technology team, including technologists from our Innovation Center in Dallas, are leading this work for us,” Iannone said. “But innovation in Sam’s Club Now doesn’t stop with the app. At just 32,000 square feet, the club is a quarter the size of an average club. This makes it an ideal space to test new technologies that will make operating the clubs easier and more efficient.”


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