By Amanda Weston
Sam's Club is gearing up to open a new Dallas location dubbed Sam's Club Now, which the company calls its "epicenter of innovation."
"What I expect to see is new innovations coming out every couple of weeks from our team, really getting all that feedback from members about what's making their experience better," Jamie Iannone, CEO of SamsClub.com, told Cheddar Tuesday. He said successes from Sam's Club Now will then roll out to its standard stores across the country.
Iannone described Sam's Club Now as a "mobile-first shopping experience" built on "Scan & Go" technology, with customers using the new Sam's Club Now app to scan items, navigate through the store, and auto-fill a "smart shopping" list.
Instead of waiting in a traditional checkout line, customers will scan a code with employees on their way out.
Sam's Club Now follows in the footsteps of Amazon's ($AMZN) cashierless stores. Amazon Go is a another grab-and-go destination that uses tracking technology rather than an app to eliminate check-out lines. But Iannone emphasized that Sam's Club Now is differentiated by its size and wide range of groceries.
"We want to appeal to our existing members. They love 'Scan & Go,'" Iannone said about the two-year-old technology. "It's live in all of our clubs throughout the nation. But we also want to appeal to new members."
The Walmart-owned ($WMT) retailer chose Dallas because it knows the market well, having been there since 1983. The store will also be close to Sam's Club's new technology innovation center.
Sam's Club Now will be 32,000 square feet, a quarter of the average club's size. Electronic shelf labels will update prices and more than 700 cameras will help manage inventory.
"We're going to keep trying new things and seeing what works so that we can roll it out to the rest of the chain," Iannone said.
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