Sam’s to open small concept focused on tech, fresh and grab-and-go foods
Sam’s Club announced plans to open a new smaller store concept that’s big on tech, fresh foods and grab-and-go meals.
Jamie Iannone, CEO of SamsClub.com and executive vice president membership and technology, writing on a company blog said the new club in the Lower Greenville neighborhood of Dallas, TX is intended to help Sam’s improve the shopping experiences it offers its customers.
The new store, which measures 32,000-square-feet compared to the typical 100,000 to 150,000-square-foot club, emphasizes the use of tech with digital signage throughout the store and cashier-less checkouts using Scan & Go.
The club, which will carry between 1,000 and 2,000 SKUs, will offer self-serve returns, home delivery options and same-day pickup for online orders.
Sam’s has been expanding its club pickup service this year. At Shoptalk in March, Mr. Iannone said the service had been added to 60 clubs with plans to have 100 completed by the end of the year. While Sam’s has offered pickup for years, the new version includes access to the full assortment of merchandise at the club, an enhanced mobile app and a designated area adjacent to the club’s entrance for pickups, which can be completed in as little as 30 seconds.
Mr. Iannone’s post doesn’t mention plans to test similar smaller clubs beyond the Dallas location.
In other Sam’s news, the retailer has opened its first repurposed e-commerce fulfillment center in Memphis, TN. It is part of the chain’s plan to open a regional network of similar facilities that will offer quick and free shipping (for most items) to club members. Earlier this year, Sam’s closed 63 of its traditional clubs with the announcement that it planned to convert some of them into warehouses to handle fulfillment of online orders.
- Lower Greenvile Club to Focus on Community and Convenience –Sam’s Club
- Sam’s says it’s scoring with club pickup – RetailWire
- Sam’s Club marks opening of first in national web of e-commerce centers – The Commercial Appeal
- Surreal to so real – Sam’s closes 63 clubs after Walmart announces pay raise – RetailWire
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: What do you think Sam’s Club intends to do with its new smaller format? Do you think management is looking to move into smaller stores or is it primarily focused on migrating learning from the Lower Greenville club to its traditional warehouses?