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Walmart pulls plug on Mobile Express Scan & Go

Sam’s Club to continue offering checkout-free pay service

Walmart has quietly shelved its Mobile Express Scan & Go service at its namesake stores.

In a note attached to a blog post about Scan & Go, the company said it discontinued the service effective last month.

“As of April 2018, we’ve completed the test run of Mobile Express Scan & Go,” Walmart stated in a message atop the blog. “While the service has ended, we’re always working to bring customers more convenience, and so we’ll use what we’ve learned to improve this and other services in the future.”

A Walmart spokesman said Wednesday that Scan & Go had been available at about 120 stores across the country. “We’ve completed the test and will use the information we learned from customers and associates as we continue to create a better, easier shopping experience in our stores and online,” he said in a statement.

Walmart declined to say why it ended Scan & Go. However, according to published reports, the basket size of a typical Walmart shopping trip made Scan & Go difficult to use for many customers, who found it awkward to scan a large number of items, especially fresh products like fruit and vegetables.

Scan & Go was piloted in several markets — including Dallas-Fort Worth, northwestern Arkansas and Orlando, Fla. — before being expanded to another 100 Walmart U.S. stores in January. That made the service available in 33 states.

The Scan & Go app allows customers to scan and bag items, including produce, as they shop and pay directly via their mobile phones, without having to wait in line at the register. The app securely stores credit or debit card information, and once customers are done shopping and have paid, they just walk through the Mobile Express lane on their way out.

Scan & Go will continue to be offered at all Sam’s Club stores, where company executives have said customer use of the service has surged.

“Mobile Express Scan & Go is a meaningful part of the Sam’s Club business, and members enjoy the convenience it offers,” the Walmart spokesman said. “Sam’s continues to add features to Mobile Express Scan & Go and to grow adoption of the technology.”

Meanwhile, Walmart is developing an on-the-spot customer checkout service dubbed Check Out With Me. Announced last month, the functionality is being tested in the Lawn & Garden Centers of more than 350 Walmart stores nationwide.

For the program, Walmart has equipped store associates with cellular devices and Bluetooth printers. When shoppers are ready to pay, an associate scans their items with the Check Out With Me mobile device, swipes their credit card and provides a printed or digital receipt, completing checkout. 

“One new thing we have started testing in over 300 hundred stores is called Check Out with Me,” the spokesman said. “We have associates with mobile devices that allow them to checkout customers where they are rather than having to go through the traditional line.”

 

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