Walmart Is Rolling Out an Amazon Prime-Like Subscription Service This Month, Says Report

Ella Chochrek

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Walmart could be rolling out an Amazon Prime-like subscription service this month.

According to a report from Vox’s Recode, Walmart+ is expected to launch this month after being pushed back amid the coronavirus pandemic. The service is anticipated to cost $98 per year, with perks such as unlimited same-day delivery, early access to deals and savings on fuel at Walmart gas stations, as well as some access to Walmart’s Express two-hour delivery service.

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A representative from Walmart declined to comment on when Walmart+ will launch, although the company has previously confirmed to FN its plans to unveil the subscription service.

According to Amazon, there are more than 150 million Prime subscribers globally, with the service costing $119 per year in the U.S. For that price, perks include unlimited next-day shipping on more than 10 million products, discounts on Amazon.com and in Whole Foods stores and access to Amazon’s extensive catalog of TV shows and films.

Over the past few years, Walmart has taken numerous measures aimed at strengthening its e-commerce operations and better aligning its brick-and-mortar and e-commerce channels. The retailer announced in May the shuttering of Jet.com, just four years after buying the website for $3 billion.

The big-box chain had already folded the Jet.com retail, technology, marketing, analytics and product teams into the Walmart.com team. Additionally, earlier this year, the company made the decision to combine its store and online product-buying teams, also shutting down its text message-based Jetblack personal shopping service.

Now, Walmart+ appears to be the retailer’s latest attempt to boost its e-commerce operations — which have already seen significant growth during the coronavirus crisis. The retailer logged a whopping 74% online sales gain for the three-month period ended May 1. It said that contactless pickup and delivery services helped to drive purchases on its website and marketplace.

But despite Walmart’s growth in the e-commerce space, the company still lags far behind Amazon, the No. 1 player when it comes to online retail sales. A June eMarketer report predicts that Amazon will account for 38% of overall e-tail sales in the United States, projecting that Walmart will come in a distant second with a market share of 5.8%.

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