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Sam’s Club Exit Tech to Deploy Chainwide By Year’s End

Retailer installed AI-powered technology in 20% of clubs in just 4 months
Marian Zboraj, Progressive Grocer
Sam's Club Exit
A combination of computer vision and digital technology deployed in Sam's Club exit areas captures images of carts and verifies payment for all items within a member’s basket.

Sam’s Club is planning to deploy its store exit technology to all of its clubs by the end of 2024. The retailer’s first-of-its-kind application of artificial intelligence (AI) and computer vision technology has successfully deployed in more than 120 clubs since it was first unveiled at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) this past January.

The membership club's exit technology is used to seamlessly confirm that members have paid for all items in their shopping carts, without requiring an associate to check their purchases before leaving the club. Before this technology was deployed, members were slowed by having to line up at the club’s exit area to have member specialists review receipts and examine items in each member’s cart. Members said they wanted a faster and more convenient shopping experience and consistently rated the potentially lengthy wait times at exit – especially during busy periods – as a primary pain point in their shopping experience.

Now, after a member completes payment at a register or via Scan & Go, a combination of computer vision and digital technology deployed in the exit area of the club captures images of carts and verifies payment for all items within a member’s basket. 

[RELATED: What Leading Grocers Are Saying – and Advising – About AI]

Sam's Club has deployed the technology at 20% of its clubs in the first quarter. According to the company, its rapid deployment of the exit technology represents the largest-scale implementation of member-facing AI-powered technology in the retail industry.

"I’m incredibly proud of the innovation and dedication of our team to deploy this member experience technology at scale," said Todd Garner, chief product officer at Sam’s Club. "Both exit technology and Scan & Go are driving new levels of convenience and raising member satisfaction among members. What distinguishes Sam’s Club from our competitors is our ability to seamlessly deploy this technology at scale across our nearly 600 clubs nationwide. Whether it's a single item or a cartful, we're revolutionizing the checkout experience."

In clubs where the technology has been deployed, more than half of members are getting the friction-free exit experience. According to the company, this translates to all members leaving the club 23% faster.

With AI working in the background to continually speed the process, this digital innovation not only streamlines each member’s exit, but also allows associates to refocus their time and expertise to assisting members and ensuring that they have an enjoyable shopping experience. As AI constantly learns and improves across thousands of exit transactions at multiple locations, Sam’s Club said it will keep iterating and enhancing the technology as the deployment rollout continues.

Sam’s Club, a division of Bentonville, Ark.-based Walmart Inc., operates nearly 600 clubs in the United States and Puerto Rico. Walmart operates more than 10,500 stores and numerous e-commerce websites in 20 countries. Walmart U.S. is No. 1 on Progressive Grocer’s 2023 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America, while Sam’s Club is No. 8. PG also named Walmart one of its Retailers of the Century.

The top retailers (including Walmart) and solution providers in grocery will be talking about innovations like AI and much more at Progressive Grocer's annual GroceryTech event in Dallas on June 5-7. Click here for more information and to register now. 

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