Sam’s Club, a division of Walmart Inc., announced plans to open over 30 new clubs across the U.S. over the next five years. The company reported that the first location, which is planned in Florida, is slated to open in 2024.
In addition to new clubs, the company has a multiple-year plan to invest in and modernize its supply chain through further distribution and fulfillment center locations across the country, including cutting-edge automation.
Sam’s Club will launch five new supply chain fulfillment and distribution centers in 2023, with the first location planned in Georgia in Q3.
According to the company, the decision to invest in expanding its physical footprint was motivated by historical comparable sales growth and a record rise in membership over the last two years.
“We’ve seen remarkable growth over the past few years with a record number of members, and we’re excited to bring the experience of Sam’s Club to even more markets as we expand our footprint. And as we open new clubs in new locations, we’ll continue to innovate so that our members shop and save whether in person or online,” said Kathryn McLay, Sam’s Club CEO.
Over the past several years, Sam’s Club has invested significantly in its physical footprint, enhancing member experiences with improved member service desks, and redesigning the majority of its 600 clubs, making them brighter, easier to navigate, and more functional. The brand has also invested significantly in its in-club technology to improve the shopping experience with Scan & Go Checkout, Scan & Go Fuel, Scan & Ship, Curbside Pickup, and other omnichannel offerings.
The new clubs will be approximately 160,000 square feet, larger than most current locations. Most new clubs will feature a seafood/sushi island, full-service floral, walk-in dairy, and fresh coolers. Additionally, members will benefit from a larger healthcare space, including a patient waiting area, health services suites, private consultation rooms, and dedicated hearing and optical centers. Many of the new locations will also include fuel stations and liquor offerings.
There will be a significant expansion in the omni-fulfillment footprint allowing for a dedicated space for curbside pickup, delivery to home, and shipping from club orders. This area will include walk-in coolers and expanded doors for outgoing delivery truck efficiency.
The company said it had significantly transformed its supply chain, evolving network, and end-to-end capabilities. Over the next several years, Sam’s Club will add numerous new facilities to its supply chain network and retrofit several existing facilities for enhanced physical and digital capabilities.
“We have an opportunity to place ourselves on the cutting edge of efficiency and automation, unique to our business model,” said Joseph Godsey, SVP of Supply Chain at Sam’s Club. “The most exciting thing, though, will be when the member sees and feels the enhancements… and loves us even more.”
With this investment, clubs and members will become closer to a supply chain facility on average. As part of these new footprints, Sam’s Club is launching highly automated facilities with state-of-the-art automation and robotics. By combining the shorter distances and the efficiencies added via process, automation, and digitization, the replenishment of clubs and item fulfillment for members will be best in class.