The new small-format Sam’s Club promises a more digital experience, with a focus on groceries, fresh and prepared foods, grab-and-go and convenience.
At around ¼ the size of a standard Sam’s Club, the pilot store in the Dallas market is expected to open this fall at the site of a former Walmart store.
In a blog post announcing the concept Jamie Iannone, chief executive officer, SamsClub.com, and executive vice president of membership and technology, said the club store will operate on a membership basis, with an emphasis on digital integration. It will carry 1,000 to 2,000 items, tailored to the neighborhood’s needs.
It also will allow Sam’s Club to use new and innovative technologies, he said.
“We’ll lean heavily into grocery and fresh food items such as grab-and-go meals, the consumable items members buy most frequently, and services like fast, same-day Club Pickup and delivery options that will help busy families,” he said.
Among the technologies expected to be tested at the new format:
- Scan and Go
- Self-service returns
- Online order pickup and delivery
Sam’s Club has been evaluating its growth strategy after announcing the closure of 10% of its approximately 600 stores this winter, some of which reportedly were slated for conversion to e-commerce fulfillment centers.
The first of the Sam’s Club e-commerce fulfillment centers opened in mid-June, in Memphis, Tenn. During the most recent quarterly earnings report, Sam’s Club reported 15% increase in online sales from January-March.