There are more ways to checkout at Walmart and Sam’s Club.
The national retailer added more technology and more self-checkout lanes to its existing business model in order to keep up with consumer shopping trends.
Walmart at 3602 N. Belt Highway has more than doubled their self-checkout lanes.
The company is currently testing two different concepts including more self-checkout lanes and a new Scan & Go system, said Justin Rushing, director of corporate communications.
“We want to give people options to get in and get out quickly and skip the traditional checkout lane,” Rushing said.
In addition to more self-checkout lanes, Sam’s Club stores, including the St. Joseph location at 5201 N. Belt Highway, have the new Scan & Go system.
Rushing said the new technology has been implemented at all Sam’s Club locations but started out in only 25 Walmart stores nationwide. The St. Joseph Walmart stores do not use Scan & Go.
Rushing said customers at Sam’s Club can use the technology via a hand-held scanner inside the store or a mobile app.
“As you shop, you scan items,” he said. “You can see the total as you go. It can be great for budgeting.”
Once finished, customers pay automatically using their walmart.com account and process the payment. Receipts are automatically stored in the app and are shown to a store associate as the customer heads out the door.
“On average, a normal shopping trip, you touch every item four times,” Rushing said. “(With Scan & Go) you touch everything once.”
In many test stores, Walmart and Sam’s Club have retrofitted shopping carts to allow clamps to use reusable bags for even easier shopping. Otherwise, customers can stop by a self-checkout lane to bag items.
“We know it’s not a solution for everyone,” Rushing said of the Scan & Go. “So we will always have the checkout lanes and associates to help through the process. It’s not a one size fits all solution.”
While the technology is in Sam’s Club stores, the company is only testing the system in select Walmart stores. Rushing said they are taking it slow and listen to customers.
Walmart is starting a second phase of implementing Scan & Go into an additional 75 stores. This time, the scan will have the ability to process fruits and vegetables, which was a suggestion from customers already in the test stores.
“We continue to learn from this,” Rushing said. “Once we have a great solution, then we will scale it.”
The changes aren’t replacing existing Walmart and Sam’s Club jobs.
Last week, Walmart Stores made two significant announcements within a 24-hour period. The national retailer closed 63 Sam’s Club locations, cutting an estimated 10,000 jobs, and decided to raise the minimum wage for its workers to $11 an hour and give out one-time bonuses to some employees.
Walmart Stores is one of the largest retailers with $486 billion in annual net sales in the last fiscal year, not including membership fees. By comparison, Amazon earned $136 billion and Costco brought in $129 billion. Sam’s Club, however, accounts for only $57 billion of the $486 billion.