Sam’s Club to test future retail technology at new location

The new Dallas location of Walmart-owned member’s only retailer Sam’s Club will include more than 700 cameras, and be a mobile-first shopping experience powered by an app that plays dual roles as a technology lab and a retail club, the company has announced.

The new, technology-focused version of Sam’s Club, dubbed Sam’s Club Now, will be used to test and refine future retail technologies, according to the announcement. Sam’s Club Now features a new app, as well as the company’s Scan & Go app, which the company says is used on the next trip after its first use by 90 percent of those who try it. Scan & Go use is already up 40 percent this year, and customers at the new location can use it to check out in one step by having a code generated on their smartphone scanned by a Sam’s Club Now associate.

Other features of the new store include smart shopping lists, which are auto-filled by applying machine learning and purchase data, wayfinding and navigation with voice search, augmented reality, and one-hour pickup through the app.

The store is 32,000 square feet, which is roughly a quarter the size of other locations, and will be used to test computer vision, AR, machine learning, artificial intelligence, robotics, and other technologies.

As digital technologies are adopted by brick-and-mortar retailers attempting to compete in a challenging contemporary environment, technology providers like NEC are demonstrating biometric payment systems and businesses are testing the marketing benefits of biometrics.

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