Look out, Jeff Bezos! Walmart is also getting in on the whole not-paying-human-employees thing! Sam's Club, the Walmart-owned retailer, is opening a store in Texas that will be utterly devoid of cashiers, just like the Amazon's cashier-less Amazon Go store. It even has a somewhat similar name: Sam's Club Now.

It won't be quite the same experience, though. Where Amazon Go uses a system of scales and cameras to see what customers pull of shelves and charge them accordingly, in this new automated Sam's Club customers will use an app to scan the items themselves, essentially ringing themselves up, not unlike the self-checkouts you see in most major retail and grocery stores. When you're done with your shopping, an employee will complete a final scan to complete your purchase. So no, not quite as robot-heavy as Amazon Go.

That being said, this is just the beginning. Sam's Club plans to expand operations, mainly within the app. Smart shopping lists will deduct items as you can them, so you only ever see what you still need to pick up. There are also plans for smart maps that guide you through the store to help you find items. Those are both very good items that seem like that would be relatively easy to implement. They also plan to start using electronic shelf labels that will allow them to automatically update prices and forego the tedious process of constantly replacing tags. The 700-plus cameras in the store will also be used to better manage inventory.


Sam's Club and parent company Walmart are definitely feeling the pressure from Amazon. Walmart remains the only brick-and-mortar retail store to really give Amazon some solid competition and it doesn't look like that rivalry is dying down any time soon. We all know who's going to be on the losing side, though: people who want jobs.

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