You may not be looking for yet another subscription service, but Walmart Inc. is hoping that you'll give them a chance. The Bentonville, Arkansas, company launched a membership program this week called Walmart+ that offers perks designed to compete with Amazon Prime and Costco, including same day delivery.
Walmart stores have had curbside pickup for all of its locations, and delivery with about a quarter of its stores before. However, with the Covid-19 pandemic sending many to shop online and use home delivery for groceries and other day-to-day necessities, the retail giant is stepping up to try and gain more of the home delivery market.
The membership program opens on Sept. 15; the cost is $98 per year or $12.95 a month. The company is offering a 15-day free trial period.
While the new Walmart+ program promotes e-commerce and includes unlimited free delivery from stores, including grocery delivery, the program also includes in-store benefits, too. Scan & Go offers customers an easier checkout process; they use the Walmart app to scan items as they shop and then use Walmart Pay to pay. The program also includes a 5 cents a gallon discount at nearly 2,000 Walmart, Murphy USA and Murphy Express fuel stations across the United States. The company says that Sam's Club fuel stations will be added to the program soon.
While Walmart+ members might save money by using Walmart instead of Amazon Prime, there are a few differences. Shopping at walmart.com (as opposed to shopping using the pickup and delivery options) including free shipping for items $35 and over, while there's no price limit for free shipping on Amazon Prime.
The store's everyday low prices combined with the coronavirus pandemic driving people to rely on online shopping and delivery has given the company a very good year on the stock market; Forbes reported that the company's stock has risen 24% this year.
Walmart announced last week that they are partnering with Microsoft to buy social media app TikTok.