BENTONVILLE, Ark. — Buoyed by record membership growth, Sam’s Club announced plans to open more than 30 new clubs across the country, starting with a unit in Florida that is slated to open next year.
The Walmart division also revealed a multiple-year plan to invest in and modernize its supply chain through new distribution and fulfillment center locations across the country, including cutting-edge automation. Sam’s Club will launch five new supply chain fulfillment and distribution centers in 2023, with the first location planned in Georgia in the third quarter.
And with its e-commerce business continuing to grow, Sam’s Club plans to add space for curbside pickup, delivery and ship-to-home orders in the new clubs.
“We’ve seen remarkable growth over the past few years, with a record number of members, and we’re excited to bring the experience of Sam’s Club to even more markets as we expand our footprint,” Kathryn McLay, chief executive officer of Sam’s Club, said in the January 26 announcement. “And as we open new clubs in new locations, we’ll continue to innovate so that our members shop and save whether in person or online.”
Sam’s Club has made significant investments in its clubs in recent years, revamping the majority of its 600 clubs in the United States and Puerto Rico to make them brighter, more functional and easier to navigate.
The chain has added improved member service desks, and it has also invested significantly in its in-club technology to improve the shopping experience with Scan & Go Checkout, Scan & Go Fuel, Scan & Ship, Curbside Pickup, and other omnichannel offerings.
The new clubs will be approximately 160,000 square feet, larger than most current locations. Most new clubs will feature a seafood/sushi island, full-service floral, and walk-in dairy and fresh coolers. Additionally, members will benefit from a larger health care space inclusive of a patient waiting area, health services suites, private consultation rooms, and dedicated hearing and optical centers. Many of the new locations will also include fuel stations and liquor offerings.
Notably, there will be a significant expansion in the omni-fulfillment footprint allowing for a dedicated space for curbside pickup, delivery to home and ship from club orders. This area will include walk-in coolers and expanded doors for outgoing delivery truck efficiency.
To support Sam’s Club’s significant growth over the past few years, coupled with expanded omnichannel options for their members, the company has undertaken a significant transformation of its supply chain, evolving network and end-to-end capabilities. This will enable noticeable increases in member experience and service times along with supporting the core club growth.
Over the next several years, Sam’s Club will add numerous new facilities to its supply chain network as well as retrofitting a number of existing facilities for more enhanced physical and digital capabilities.
“We have an opportunity to place ourselves on the cutting edge of efficiency and automation, unique to our business model,” said Joseph Godsey, senior vice president of supply chain at Sam’s Club. “The most exciting thing, though, will be when the member sees and feels the enhancements … and loves us even more.”
With this investment, clubs and members will become significantly closer, on average, to a supply chain facility.
As part of these new footprints, Sam’s Club is launching highly automated facilities with state-of-the-art automation and robotics.
By combining the shorter distances and the efficiencies added via process, automation and digitization, replenishment of clubs and item fulfillment for members will be best in class.
Sam’s Club said it is committed to constructing and designing its facilities sustainably, adding that the focus on becoming more regenerative is embedded across its operations.
Future clubs will have zero emission strategies built in through electrification of equipment, including electric ovens; HVAC equipment; water heating systems; and low-emissions refrigeration systems.
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