Since its launch in 2005, Amazon Prime has become a staple in households across the country. Consumer Intelligence Research Partners, an investment-focused research group, estimated that Amazon had more than 101 million Prime members in the U.S. alone by January 2019. And apparently, Walmart is taking notice. The supermarket is set to rival the popular program with a similar service called Walmart+.
According to Vox's Recode, Walmart+ is an overhaul of the store's current grocery service, Delivery Unlimited. Customers who subscribe to Delivery Unlimited pay an annual fee ($98) for same-day grocery delivery from participating Walmarts. (For comparison, the yearly subscription to Amazon Prime is $119). However, the supermarket wants Walmart+ to offer more benefits in the future, such as discounts on prescription drugs and fuel and a scan-and-go service that lets shoppers check out without waiting in line, according to Vox. The outlet reports that Walmart could begin testing the initiative as early as this month.
Courtesy of Walmart
We reached out to Walmart to find out more about the project but didn't learn much. A spokesperson confirmed that the company is launching a membership program called Walmart+, but declined to share more details, but noted they'd send info along as it becomes publicly available. Vox reports that Walmart wants to make its program different enough from Amazon Prime, so "it doesn't promote a direct comparison."
When it comes to the biggest retailers in the world, Walmart takes the top spot, and Amazon comes in second, according to Forbes. However, the research company eMarketer reports that Amazon beats Walmart in sales for e-commerce overall as well as online groceries. With the launch of Walmart+, the company could move closer to beating Amazon and other retailers in both these categories. We'll just have to wait and see.