Sam’s Club to launch its first design studio on its Bentonville, Arkansas, campus to facilitate collaboration with partners, promote creativity; company says idea for studio came from need to evolve during pandemic amid new 'omni demand' from members

Sample article from our Retail & Omnichannel

September 22, 2022 (press release) –

Sam Walton said it best over 35 years ago, Sam’s Club is an experiment. Today, Sam’s Club is a leader in digital retail transformation. We are called the ‘innovation engine’ for our Walmart enterprise. Through innovation, iteration, and failing fast Sam’s has staked its claim as a disruptive retailer – with a member-obsessed vision. We know this success is due to our associates, members and ultimately the business developing and adopting new ways of working to meet the transformation challenge.

So, it feels like a natural next step in our journey to announce that we’re building a Design Studio on our Bentonville, Arkansas campus. This is the first dedicated space at Sam’s Club for innovating, creating, and collaborating. A building where all associates are welcomed and encouraged to pitch, develop, and curate new ideas for the better of our business.

Let’s explain how we got here…

First, is a retail design studio necessary?


If someone would have asked me this question five years ago, I would have shrugged and said, “there is no use for it.” But in today’s retail industry, the value of thinking holistically about “endless aisle”, “omni commerce”, or “phygital” has exponentially increased.

What changed?


One big factor was the COVID-19 pandemic. At Sam’s we were ready to help our members quickly with new innovations like Scan & Ship, Curbside Pickup, and Scan and Go™. We also learned in order to expand and meet this new omni demand from our members we had to evolve the way we deliver product, design, and service.

Our major unlocks were enabled by a few strategic decisions:

  • Our engineering, product management and design teams are responsible for the entire chain of experiences that involve delivering great service and merchandise to our members.
  • We think differently in how we collaborate. We work in what we call an “experience team model.” This means cross functional teams work together to first understand business and member value then align on what problem they should solve for our members and our business.
  • Lastly, as an organization we value design thinking. To support end-to-end problem solving and enabling cross functional teams to collaborate, we needed a structured process to anchor on. Insert our design thinking process, being member-obsessed, and empathizing with the member.  

So, what really is a design studio?


Our Design Studio will serve as an idea factory, where anyone in the company can test, exchange, and collaborate on projects that push our business forward.

Creating a dedicated space gives us several advantages: 

  • Neutral space allows easier collaboration with external partners 
  •  Workshop-based space puts innovators in the mindset of creation, not work
  •  Physical product and hardware testing without current space constraints 
  • Strong communication of the commitment to being a design-led organization with this investment and footprint

Why build a design studio?


  • To stitch design thinking into the fabric of our enterprise…
  • To democratize innovation…
  • To elegantly integrate physical and digital design…

We are still the experiment Sam Walton started in 1983, and it will always be our goal at Sam’s Club to create the most seamless and convenient user experiences. For us, our Design Studio announcement officially marks innovation being woven into our company’s fabric for the future.

Get a sneak peek at what the Design Studio will look like…

* All content is copyrighted by Industry Intelligence, or the original respective author or source. You may not recirculate, redistrubte or publish the analysis and presentation included in the service without Industry Intelligence's prior written consent. Please review our terms of use.

See our dashboard in action - schedule an demo
Chelsey Quick
Chelsey Quick
- VP Client Success -

We offer built-to-order retail & omnichannel coverage for our clients. Contact us for a free consultation.

About Us

We deliver market news & information relevant to your business.

We monitor all your market drivers.

We aggregate, curate, filter and map your specific needs.

We deliver the right information to the right person at the right time.

Our Contacts

1990 S Bundy Dr. Suite #380,
Los Angeles, CA 90025

+1 (310) 553 0008

About Cookies On This Site

We collect data, including through use of cookies and similar technology ("cookies") that enchance the online experience. By clicking "I agree", you agree to our cookies, agree to bound by our Terms of Use, and acknowledge our Privacy Policy. For more information on our data practices and how to exercise your privacy rights, please see our Privacy Policy.