Walmart Inc. WMT has filed a lawsuit against BJ’s Wholesale Club Holdings Inc. BJ for allegedly stealing technology related to a self-checkout option in the Sam’s Club mobile app, CNBC reported Wednesday.
What Happened: Walmart and its big-box warehouse subsidiary Sam’s Club accused BJ’s of using the technology in its contactless offering ExpressPay, launched last year.
“Express Pay is an apparent copy of Sam’s Club’s Scan & Go, merely changing the in-app colors and changing the name from Scan & Go to Express Pay,” the lawsuit said, as per the report.
The lawsuit — filed in a US District Court in Orlando, Florida — reportedly accuses BJ’s of infringing on Walmart’s patent rights, thereby causing “significant damages and irreparable harm.”
Why It Matters: The “Scan & Go” app feature allows Sam’s Club customers to make purchases on their smartphones and bypass the traditional checkout line while shopping in-store.
Warehouse club operators like Sam’s Club and BJ’s have seen strong growth in sales amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The “Scan & Go” feature became popular as social distancing rules were adopted due to the pandemic.
In February, Walmart reported better-than-expected earnings results for the fourth quarter.
Price Action: Walmart shares closed 1.3% lower in Wednesday’s regular trading session at $141.92 and further lost almost 0.1% in the after-hours session to $141.81, according to data from Benzinga Pro.
Photo: Courtesy of Mike Mozart via Flickr
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