TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – A one-of-a-kind Sam’s Club store opened Thursday in South Tampa after the company abruptly closed the location last year, turning a portion of the building into an online fulfillment center.
There are no cashiers within the store. Sam’s Club members will utilize the company’s app and “Scan & Go” technology to make purchases all with their smartphones.
“It allows you to scan items as you’re shopping and see exactly how much is in your cart as you’re shopping. And then skip the checkout line and go straight to the exit,” General Manager Nick Barbieri explained. “It’s much faster, much more efficient. In this facility, it allows us to go cashless. So there [are] no cash transactions at all inside of this club.”
Barbieri showed 8 On Your Side how this technology actually works.
“If you have location services on, it’s going to automatically recognize what store you’re standing in. Press the barcode reader. Pull it up and all you do is hit the barcode on any item and it will immediately pull that item up and add it to your cart,” he said. “When you’re ready to check out…you simply press the checkout button [and] slide to pay.”
The location does not feature as wide of an item selection as a full-sized Sam’s Club store. Only products that can be sold at room-temperature are on the shelves, so you won’t find rotisserie chickens or pizza.
Sam’s Club has six e-commerce centers like that in South Tampa across the country, but this location is the first to feature Scan & Go as the only method to purchase items.
Barbieri said the company is very excited to pilot the concept and test it in the South Tampa market.
“We have lots of great customers. We have people that stop by all the time looking to shop and so this is an opportunity to service the community with the assortment we have available.”