Walmart Inc. has accelerated its rivalry with Amazon.com Inc. as it introduces a subscription that offers free delivery, no lines and discounts on fuel.
On Tuesday (Sept.1), the Bentonville, Arkansas-based retailer will unveil Walmart+, a membership program to rival Amazon Prime.
“Customers know they can trust us and depend on us, and we’ve designed this program as the ultimate life hack for them,” Janey Whiteside, Walmart’s chief customer officer, said in a statement. “Walmart Plus (or +) will bring together a comprehensive set of benefits where we see the greatest needs from our customers and where our scale can bring solutions at an unprecedented value.”
For $98 annually or $12.95 a month, members will receive unlimited, same-day free delivery, Scan & Go on the Walmart app that allows customers to scan their items as they shop and pay with Walmart Pay for quick and touch-free payments and a 5 cents discount on gas.
To qualify, orders must be at least $35. It will be available to U.S. customers on Sept. 15 and includes a 15-day free trial period.
The service was expected to launch in March, but was delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The program goes head-to-head with Amazon Prime, which offers shoppers one or two-day free shipping as well as streaming music and video for $119 a year or $12.99 monthly. It comes with a 30-day free trial.
Last year, Walmart introduced Delivery Unlimited in 1,400 of its stores. Customers who want to order groceries from Walmart without having to pay a per-delivery fee every time have the option of paying $98 a year or $12.95 a month, according to the company. Delivery Unlimited customers will automatically become plus members.
Each week, more than 265 million customers visit 11,500 stores in 27 countries and eCommerce websites. In fiscal year 2020, Walmart reported revenues of $524 billion. The company employs over 2.2 million associates worldwide.
“Life feels more complicated than ever,” Whiteside added. “Walmart+ is designed to make it easier, giving customers an option to not have to sacrifice on cost or convenience. We know shopping should fit customers’ needs, not the other way around. We have always been a champion for the right item at the right price, but now it’s more than that. We have the right shopping solutions at the right time, too.”
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