We’ve long thought of our Bentonville, Arkansas, Sam’s Club like a backyard laboratory. Situated less than two miles from our corporate headquarters, it’s the perfect place to try new ideas and finesse them, learning from members’ responses in real time.
Earlier this year, we used this laboratory in a big way through a remodel with an eye toward excitement, innovation and convenience. While many of the features added don’t appear elsewhere yet, we’ll use our members’ feedback to determine if they’ll become extended to more clubs in the future.
When driving in, you may notice a few dedicated parking spaces for electric cars. Here we offer charging stations that can fit any electric vehicle on the market today. Two chargers are available: One 50-kilowatt charger is the first in the state of Arkansas and can charge a vehicle in less than a half hour. Another charger (7 kW) takes approximately two to four hours to fully charge.
We expanded the Club Pickup parking area to include two drive-thru lanes as well as additional dedicated parking slots. This feature is great for ordering ahead online and swinging by the drive-thru for quick pickup. Small businesses who rely on us for daily ingredients can save their previous orders online and simply repeat or edit. Our associates serve as personal shopping assistants, gathering all the items needed. When you drive up, we’ll bring your order out to your car!
With our new Scan and Go service, members can scan items and pay on their iPhone or Android device utilizing the Scan and Go app. No need to stand in the checkout lane at all. Just simply show your phone screen to the exit attendant on your way out the door! Scan and Go is available at all of our clubs across the country.
At our new, full-service fresh area, you’ll see chefs preparing sushi and sashimi on the spot. If you need to grab something to go, you can choose sushi that was made that same day. This space also includes several high-end offerings such as halibut, mahi-mahi, and ahi tuna, as well as premium prime beef cuts, cattleman cuts and more.
We opened up our walk-in coolers to allow members to shop directly inside. This dual-purpose, 34-degree storage and selling area features air-curtain technology which keeps the cold air in, making it more energy efficient. This update also gives us more space to offer other great items like fresh-squeezed orange juice and lemonade.
Our newly remodeled café features a self-service digital portal allowing users to order directly from the menu, pay at the terminal and wait for their order numbers to pop on the big screen. The menu has also been expanded to include healthier options such as salads, smoothies and made-to-order deli sandwiches along with café favorites like pizza and hotdogs. The newly designed seating area includes charging outlets for convenience.
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in June 2016 and has been updated to reflect the availability of Scan and Go in all U.S. Sam’s Club locations.