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Sam’s Club is upgrading all of its U.S. locations to feature Wi-Fi by November. The warehouse club chain revealed the news to over 2,200 Sam’s Club associates from the field and home office who were present at the Orlando Convention Center in Florida for the company’s Annual Holiday Meeting, which displays holiday merchandise and details plans for the season.
AT&T will provide Sam’s Club members greater use of their Wi-Fi-enabled smart phones while they’re shopping and allow employees to demonstrate new IPTVs (Internet TVs) and other Internet-connected devices in real time. Members will be able to view preferred Web applications, including Facebook, Pandora or Vudo, on large-screen TVs to better understand how they would look at home. Additionally, hundreds of product reviews will now be accessible in-club to help members research potential purchases and log on to samsclub.com.
The chain is also upgrading to 1080p on HDTV displays for an improved and more realistic picture quality. According to Sam’s Club, it’s the first warehouse club to offer live IPTV demos and carry a 1080p broadcast signal. The company expects to showcase 3D TVs in all warehouse clubs and online next month.
"Our members are early adopters of technology and electronics, and we’re excited to deliver an improved experience in our clubs," said Sam’s Club president and CEO Brian Cornell. “This investment in connectivity allows us to showcase the high-quality brands we offer in a new engaging way, provide an enhanced level of service and bring to life our promise to our members of Savings Made Simple.”
Sam's Club has additionally unveiled plans to offer a comprehensive smart phone application for the iPhone, BlackBerry and Droid platforms. Scheduled to roll out in September, the app will include such features as access to eValues, which are extra discounts loaded directly onto the Plus Membership cards; product information; and member reviews. According to the chain, which said it would reveal additional functionality details in the near future, the app will make it easier for members to make the right choices on products throughout the club, as well as enable greater interaction with Sam’s Club.
As a result of the new capabilities, the company’s Tech Experts will provide advanced training for in-club electronics associates. Members may use the Tech Experts 24/7 at no charge for pre- and post sale consultations on electronics items ranging from computers to home theater systems. Information is available on items regardless of where they were bought. Tech Experts also can help members with delivery and installation of electronics -- even custom plans.
“These initiatives, combined with additional associate training in Electronics, will have a positive impact on every product category within the department,” observed Sam’s Club VP, electronics Joe Hartsig. "We'll be able to enhance how our members experience electronics and deliver an increased level of service as technology choices become more complex.”
Sam’s Club, a division of Bentonville, Ark.-based Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., serves over 47 million U.S. members with locations across the United States, as well as in Brazil, China, Mexico and Puerto Rico.