BENTONVILLE, Ark. – Walmart’s Sam’s Club is experimenting with a cashier-less store called Sam’s Club Now in Texas, The Verge reports. The store will open soon as an “epicenter of innovation for Sam’s Club,” according to CEO Jamie Iannone.
Although traditional cashiers won’t be stationed at checkout, Sam’s Club Now isn’t as fully automated as Amazon Go stores. Customers will download and use a new Sam’s Club Now app to scan items as they shop, with a final scan from an employee to complete purchases. Future updates include electronic shelf labels to immediately change prices or register inventory.
Meanwhile, Walmart is deploying associates armed with mobile devices throughout its stores so customers can check out while shopping. The new Check Out With Me service, which begins November 1, lets customers pay with credit or debit cards anywhere in the store, Business Insider reports.
Also in technology news, Walmart has started an incentive program to workers who use their own smartphones for work, Chain Store Age reports. The bring-your-own-device (BYOD) initiative lets associates do work-related tasks on their personal phones via a Walmart app suite that includes inventory files, company announcements, management tools and merchandising helps.
Employees can access the app suite only after clocking in, and those who utilize the app for work get a discount on their monthly cellular fees. Walmart does not have access to the employees’ personal data on their phones. “We know technology is helping our associates be more productive and deliver for our customers in new ways,” said Brock McKeel, senior director of digital operations for Walmart. “BYOD is just another option our people will have to access the custom apps that help associates perform their jobs.”