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Sam’s Club is testing out a new app-based feature that enables shoppers to use a smartphone to buy big-ticket items at the store and have those purchases sent directly to their doorstep.
On Tuesday, the warehouse club, owned by Walmart Inc (NYSE: WMT ), announced its Scan & Ship pilot program, which is aimed at making it easier for customers to purchase bulky merchandise that is hard to fit into cars, like patio furniture, grills, large electronics and mattresses.
Items will arrive at the customer's home within three to five days, Sam’s Club said.
Customers can already use Sam's Club's "Scan & Go" app to scan items in the store and check out without standing in line for a cashier, but the added feature enables them to ship some of the items they purchase instead of hauling them to the parking lot.
Currently, three of the 600 Sam’s Club locations across the US — including its Dallas-based innovation lab — are participating in the pilot. After gathering member feedback, the company said it will roll out Scan & Ship to additional stores.
CNBC noted that Sam’s Clubs stores are typically used as an incubator for programs and initiatives that are eventually adopted by Walmart, including Scan & Go, the app that's now available to users of Walmart+, the big chain's membership program.
The new Scan & Ship offering stems from the popularity of the Scan & Go app, which the chain said tallied 9.6 million downloads last year — nearly twice as many as competitors’ apps — and earned a 4.9 app store rating.
“Scan & Go has been such a success story for us, and Scan & Ship is a fantastic extension to all of the great innovation we already have in place,” Sam’s Club chief technology officer, Vinod Bidarkoppa, said in a statement.
Several other chains, including Home Depot, Whole Foods Market and Ace Hardware Corporation, offer a buy-in-store, ship-to-home option.
Source: Equities News