15 years later, Walmart launches its answer to Amazon Prime | HT Tech

15 years later, Walmart launches its answer to Amazon Prime

Called Walmart+, it will cost $98 a year, or $12.95 a month, and give members same-day delivery on 160,000 items, a fuel discount at certain gas stations and a chance to check out at Walmart stores without having to wait at a register.

By:AP
| Updated on: Sep 01 2020, 12:10 IST
Walmart is expected to take 6% of all online sales in the US this year, compared to Amazon’s 38%, according to market research firm eMarketer.
Walmart is expected to take 6% of all online sales in the US this year, compared to Amazon’s 38%, according to market research firm eMarketer. (REUTERS)

Walmart is launching a new membership service for shoppers this month that it hopes can compete with Amazon Prime.

Called Walmart+, it will cost $98 a year, or $12.95 a month, and give members same-day delivery on 160,000 items, a fuel discount at certain gas stations and a chance to check out at Walmart stores without having to wait at a register.

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Walmart has a long way to go to catch up with Amazon Prime. Launched in 2005, Prime has more than 150 million members who pay $119 a year, or $12.99 a month, for faster shipping and other perks, such as discounts at Amazon's Whole Foods supermarkets and access to its video streaming site.

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Walmart's online sales are growing rapidly, especially during the pandemic, when more people have turned to the company to order groceries online and pick them up at a store. But the world's biggest retailer is still a distant second online to Amazon. Walmart is expected to take 6% of all online sales in the US this year, compared to Amazon's 38%, according to market research firm eMarketer.

Last week, Walmart emerged as a possible suitor for the U.S. business of TikTok, the fast-growing video app with more than 100 million users. Analysts have said the bid with tech company Microsoft could be a way for Walmart to grow its online shopping business and connect with millions of young shoppers.

As for Walmart+, members will still have to spend at least $35 online to qualify for free shipping. But delivery could be as quick as same day for groceries, toys and household items, such as toilet paper and soap.

Members will get a discount of up to 5 cents a gallon at Murphy gas stations or at the 2,000 Walmart locations that have gas pumps. The company said it's working to add more gas-station chains to its list.

At its stores, members can unlock an app to scan items as they shop and pay without having to stop at a cashier.

The Bentonville, Arkansas-based company said Walmart+ will launch September 15.

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First Published Date: 01 Sep, 12:10 IST
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