The store has no registers, checkout lines, or cashiers. Customers must scan and pay for items using the Sam's Club Now app.
The app saves customers' shopping lists, helps them navigate the store, and automatically eliminates scanned items from their lists as they shop.
Sam's Club is opening a futuristic new store in Dallas, Texas, without registers, checkout lines, or cashiers.
The store, called Sam's Club Now, is about a quarter the size of a regular Sam's Club warehouse and will serve as a testing ground for new technologies, including self-service returns, digital price tags, andScan & Go, which lets shoppers check out using a smartphone.
"This club is going to be unlike any other club we have in our portfolio," Sam's Club president and CEO John Furner said on a call with reporters.
Here's what it's like:
Sam's Club new store
Sam's Club new store
To shop the store, customers must download the Sam's Club Now app.
The app is where customers will build their shopping lists and pay for items.
The app also has navigation software that can route shoppers directly to the items they need. This is meant to address what Sam's Club executives said is customers' top question.
"The No. 1 question we get from our members in the club is: 'Where is an item?'" said Jamie Iannone, CEO of SamsClub.com.
The app will generate a map of the best route through the store's aisles for shoppers to find everything on their shopping list.
It will also answer shoppers' verbal inquiries about the location of specific products.
In addition to helping customers find items, the app will also serve as a checkout register. As customers add items to their shopping carts, they will scan the products' barcodes with their smartphones.
Scanned items will be automatically removed from customers' shopping lists. This is meant to make it easier for shoppers to see which products they have left on their lists.
Once customers are finished shopping, they will present a barcode to a Sam's Club Now employee.
The employee will scan the code to complete their purchase.
Since the store will have no registers, it won't have any need for designated cashiers. Instead, Sam's Club employees called "member hosts" will roam the store to assist shoppers with their needs.
"Think of these associates as the concierge of the club," Jamie Iannone, CEO of SamsClub.com, wrote in a blog post on the new store. "We'll empower them with new technology that will allow them to serve members better and faster."
Sam's Club executives say there are no plans right now to replicate the store, which Furner referred to as an "innovation lab" and "tech incubator."
Instead, the company will use the format to test new technologies and determine whether to roll out those services to its stores nationwide.