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Why This Huge Retailer Is Betting Big on Drones

2 minute read

Sam’s Club is hoping to see a drone on every child’s wish list when the holidays come around this year.

The retail chain, a division of Wal-Mart Stores, plans to stock its locations with roughly a dozen different models of consumer drones ahead of this year’s holiday season, according to The Wall Street Journal.

The chain expects drones to fly off the shelves once the holiday gifting season begins. There will be plenty of varieties of the product for Sam’s Club customers to choose from, including entry-level drones that cost as little as $100 as well as higher-end devices that cost thousands of dollars and come equipped with high-resolution cameras or claws that can pick up certain objects.

Sam’s Club, which made the move after one of its pricier drone models started selling particularly well online, likely hopes its bet on drones will help to boost consumer electronics sales at a time when rivals like Costco are seeing stronger sales growth.

One way Sam’s Club has looked to differentiate itself from rivals like Costco is by focusing on its customers who are small business owners — a segment that makes up as much as one-third of the retailer’s membership base. As the Jorunal notes, Sam’s Club has found that roughly half of the customers buying its drone products do so with professional goals in mind, from real-estate agents looking to take pictures of properties from the sky to professional photographers using the devices for event photos.

To help boost drone sales, Sam’s Club even plans on setting up in-store interactive drones that customers can touch while watching demos of the products flying around the store.

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