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Sam’s Club Opening Cashier-Less Store in Dallas: Exception or Rule?

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Sam’s Club is opening a new Texas location which will allow customers to purchase items using only an app, negating the need for waiting in line to check out and, in effect, creating a cashier-less store. Although this service isn’t a new concept, it’s up for debate among consumers and those who regularly work in the service industry as to whether this is a positive or negative. New technologies are making it more convenient for us to consume goods and services, but they’re also downsizing the retail job market.

This new Sam’s Club development will also be launching in Dallas – an area which is ripe with competition in the grocery industry. Not only are other big players in the sector investing in new technologies, but sales growth and service delivery measures are already swiftly on track or soundly in place for existing Texas giants such as H-E-B and Whole Foods. The new “Sam’s Club Now” app will be introduced to shoppers of the Dallas location, building on the company’s already existing “Shop and Go” app.

Sam’s Club Opening Cashier-Less Store in Dallas: Exception or Rule?

Photo: Facebook/Martin Cisneros

This new store will come in at 32K-square-feet in size, which is recognized as approximately one quarter the size of the company’s traditional stores. Its primary focus will be on meat, produce, and alcohol. Upon entering the Dallas Sam’s Club, customers will open the app and use it to not only locate the items on their list but also add them to their purchase by scanning them. There are additional features to the app which regular customers will enjoy as well. In a recent blog post, Jamie Iannone, CEO of SamsClub.com stated, “We’ll use all available technologies — including computer vision, augmented reality, machine learning, artificial intelligence, robotics, just to name a few — to redefine the retail experience.”

In order to make payment for their items, shoppers will be able to scan a code with the assistance of an “exit host.” To assist with layout and inventory controls, the new Sam’s Club store will be equipped with approximately 700 cameras, and this Texas roll-out may very well become the model for a national roll-out that the company will introduce in the coming years. With such national retailers as Amazon and Kroger implementing cashier-less systems and consumer app products for improved sales, it’s not a stretch for this Sam’s Club to become a Texas rule, as opposed to the exception for sales and service. What are your thoughts on apps and cashier-less sales for grocery or retail sector purchases?