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Puerto Rico’s 7 Sam’s Club stores to adopt AI to check receipts at exit

Sam's Club's AI-powered exit technology. (Credit: Business Wire)

The retailer plans to install the technology by the end of this year.

The seven Sam’s Club locations in Puerto Rico will be deploying a new technology that combines artificial intelligence and computer vision technology to alleviate a common club member concern — waiting in line for receipt verification upon exiting the store.

A local representative confirmed to News is my Business that the island’s stores are included in a company-wide plan to implement the exit technology, which was first unveiled at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in January.

While there is no specific start date for the local rollout, Sam’s Club plans to have the technology installed in all its clubs by the end of 2024.

This quarter, the retailer has already equipped 20% of its 600 clubs, or 120 locations, with the technology, the company said.

Sam’s Club’s new exit technology streamlines the process of confirming that members have paid for all items in their carts without the need for a store associate to manually check purchases before leaving the club.

Previously, members had to queue at the exit area for a receipt check. Sam’s Club said members consistently rated the potentially lengthy wait, especially during peak times, as an inconvenience.

“The move to use digital solutions to drive a better member experience builds on Sam’s Club’s existing technologies, such as Scan & Go, to provide members with a more convenient shopping experience and differentiate Sam’s Club as a segment innovator,” the company stated earlier this year.

Sam’s Club’s rapid deployment of its exit technology marks “the largest-scale implementation of member-facing AI-powered technology in the retail industry,” according to the company.

“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,” he added.

In locations where the technology has been deployed, more than half of members benefit from a “friction-free exit experience,” the retailer stated.

“This translates to all members leaving the club 23% faster. Sam’s Club is uniquely positioned as the first retailer to not only extensively deploy this technology at scale, but also to successfully build, design and roll it out in-house, addressing member pain points in the purchase-to-exit process,” the company noted.

After members complete payment at a register or via Scan & Go, the system in the exit area uses computer vision and digital technology to capture images of carts and verify payment for all items in a member’s basket.

“With AI working in the background to continually speed the process, this digital innovation not only streamlines the member’s exit, but also allows member specialists to refocus their time and expertise to assisting members and ensuring they have an enjoyable shopping experience,” the retailer stated.

As AI continues to learn and improve from thousands of exit transactions at multiple locations, Sam’s Club said it “will continue iterating and enhancing the technology as the deployment rollout continues.”

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