Shopping at Sam's Club is a relatively simple experience, even if it can be a little daunting. Grab a membership, buy in bulk, and save a bit of cash on groceries and other necessities.

Of course, there's the whole ordeal of having space at home for what you buy, and the strength to simply push the buggie (that's what we Southerners call a shopping cart) full of bulk items. Outside of clothes, furniture and appliances, there's very little at Sam's Club you're buying just one of. And if you have the space at home to really stock up, you gotta carry everything, because your items aren't getting bagged.

That's why, even with a membership, Sam's Club has long paid someone to check your cart and receipt before you leave the store. While that's understandable, it's long been one of the biggest complaints of regular Sam's Club shoppers - the long line to simply leave the store.

Now, the last time I was in a Sam's Club was back in Alabama a few months ago with my parents. My stepdad scanned his items and paid for everything with his phone. And we walked right out of the store.

I was a bit shocked at the process, but that's a slight preview of what's coming to all Sam's Club stores in time. The next step for Sam's Club is a heavy emphasis on AI, which has already been introduced to several locations around the country.

Sam's Club recently announced that 120+ locations nationwide have already deployed AI-powered 'Exit Technology' to help speed up customer exits from the store and to keep Sam's Club's merchandise safe. Sam's Club reports that shoppers leave the store (from check out to exit) 23% faster with the AI tech.

Now, that they've seen success with the program, Sam's Club will deploy this change at scale to all of its nearly 600 locations nationwide before the end of 2024.

From Sam's Club's press release:

Now after a member completes payment at a register or via Scan & Go, a combination of computer vision and digital technology deployed in the exit area of the club captures images of carts and verifies payment for all items within 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.

Michigan is home to 23 Sam's Club locations. Your local store may already have implemented these changes, but if it hasn't yet, you can soon expect to see them in action sooner rather than later.

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