These days, it seems like Walmart’s business strategy is to prevent its customers from ever having to actually set foot inside an actual Walmart. They want to put groceries inside your refrigerator, and they’ll even bring your booze to the parking lot. While the former move feels as creepy as the latter is convenient, the latest development might actually move the needle when it comes to driving delivery orders.
This week, Walmart launched its new unlimited grocery delivery service in 1,400 stores nationwide, with plans to expand to a further 200 stores by the end of the year. Called Delivery Unlimited, signing up would entitle registrants to pay a monthly fee of $12.95, or a flat annual payment of $98 if you feel like both flexing and saving money at the same time.
Typically, Walmart’s grocery delivery fee is somewhere between $7.95 and $9.95 an order. So you’re getting a solid deal if you place at least two grocery orders a month (a pretty reasonable assumption). The annual $98 fee could also pay for itself in as little as ten deliveries. After that, you’re essentially having someone show up to your house with groceries for free for the duration of the year. Not bad.
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According to Walmart, shoppers can select from up to about 100,000 different items when they make their online orders, depending on what market their in and the time of year. Those orders can be completed in as few as three or four hours. Given the way things are structured, it seems like Walmart is sort of going after Amazon, whose somewhat similar Prime service has an $119 annual price tag.
Whether or not you choose this option, curbside grocery pickup for online orders is still free at 3,000 Walmart locations. And no, a Walmart employee doesn’t have to go into your home and stock the fridge while you aren’t there if you don’t want them to. But if you know you’d rather consistently outsource your grocery shopping to a big box retailer, you might as well save yourself a little money.