Walmart is rolling out its answer to Amazon Prime later this month with "Walmart Plus," a new membership service providing same-day delivery on 160,000 items, a discount on fuel at select gas stations and the ability to checkout without waiting in line for a register.
Subscribers pay $98 a year or $12.95 a month. "Walmart Plus" goes on line September 15th.
While it's widely considered an alternative to Amazon's powerful Prime membership, experts say Walmart has a long way to go to catch up with Amazon Prime. Launched in 2005, Prime has more than 150 million members.
For its part, Walmart says this is just the beginning and the "list of benefits will continue to grow over time."
“We are a company committed to meeting our customers’ needs,” said Janey Whiteside, chief customer officer, Walmart. “Customers know they can trust us and depend on us, and we’ve designed this program as the ultimate life hack for them. Walmart+ will bring together a comprehensive set of benefits where we see the greatest needs from our customers and where our scale can bring solutions at an unprecedented value.”
The initial list of Walmart+ benefits are below.
• Unlimited free delivery: In-store prices as fast as same-day on more than 160,000 items from tech and toys to household essentials and groceries. This service was previously known as Delivery Unlimited – a subscription service that allows customers to place an unlimited number of deliveries for a low, flat yearly or monthly fee. Current subscribers will automatically become Walmart+ members.
• Scan & Go: Unlock Scan & Go in the Walmart app – a fast way to shop in-store. Using the Walmart app, customers can scan their items as they shop and pay using Walmart Pay for a quick, easy, touch-free payment experience.
• Fuel discounts: Fill up and save up to 5 cents a gallon at nearly 2,000 Walmart, Murphy USA and Murphy Express fuel stations. Sam’s Club fuel stations will soon be added to this lineup.
Non-subscribers can still get Walmart’s free curbside pickup, NextDay delivery and two-day delivery, plus Walmart will continue to have delivery options with a per-delivery transaction fee so customers can choose.
“Life feels more complicated than ever. Walmart+ is designed to make it easier – giving customers an option to not have to sacrifice on cost or convenience,” added Whiteside. “We know shopping should fit customers’ needs, not the other way around. We have always been a champion for the right item at the right price, but now it’s more than that. We have the right shopping solutions at the right time, too.”