In 2014, Amazon was selling 8,000 drones/month. Thanks to strong sales trends, Sam’s Club, the retail chain, a division of Wal-Mart Stores, is betting big on drones this holiday season. Interestingly enough, key competitors such as CostCo currently don’t carry drones, and Target sells a single drone online. Will 2015 be the year of the drone? All signs point yes. I think this further emphasizes the need for proper drone pilot education. I’ve quoted an interesting article written by Sarah Nassauer that talks about Sam’s Clubs plan. I consider this an investment in the future of drone technology, which is good for the industry, so as odd as this sounds “Thank you Sam’s Club.” Sam’s Club will be carrying a dozen or so different models of consumer drones, and they are doing it ahead of this year’s holiday season
Move over BB guns and videogames. Christmas morning may have a new menace.
Sam’s Club is betting drones will be a popular holiday gift this year and plans to stock about a dozen kinds—from $100 models to $4,000 versions with high resolution cameras or the ability to pick up small objects, said Dawn vonBechmann, senior vice president of technology, entertainment and office products for the wholesale chain owned by Wal-Mart Stores Inc.
The move comes as drones are capturing attention at a time when little else in the battered consumer electronics market is clicking at the register. Sam’s started thinking about expanding its drone line after noticing a $1,169 model with a digital camera was selling “like crazy” online, Ms. vonBechmann said.
Sam’s surveyed customers earlier this year and found about half bought the pricey drone for professional reasons; real-estate agents taking bird’s eye view pictures of their high-end properties, wedding photographers hoping to get a client’s ceremony from a new angle—and at least one rancher who uses it to check whether perimeter fences are intact from the comfort of his home. The rest are buying it for fun, Ms. vonBechmann said.