Business

Walmart will launch membership program to face Amazon Prime

While Amazon Prime has nearly 40% of all US online retail sales; Walmart accounts for a little more than 5% of the US e-commerce market

Walmart to launch Walmart+, similar to Amazon Prime
Walmart to launch Walmart+, membership program to face Amazon Prime. Photo: Shutterstock
  • Walmart plans to start testing a membership program, Walmart+ still in March, according to sources linked to media outlet Recode;
  • Behind the leader Amazon, Walmart ranks 2nd with only a little more than 5% of the US e-commerce market.
  • The membership program is likely to launch as a rebrand of Walmart’s existing Delivery Unlimited service

About 15 years after Amazon Prime‘s launch, brick-and-mortar giant Walmart is planning to create its own paid membership program. The information is from the US media outlet Recode.

Set to launch as early as this March, Walmart+ – as the retail giant reportedly will call the program – would include groceries delivery for start, and, in the long term, more benefits like discounts on prescription drugs at pharmacies and fuel at gas stations, both from Walmart stores. The membership program is likely to launch as a rebrand of Walmart’s existing Delivery Unlimited service, which currently offers same-day delivery for fresh groceries at $98 a year. Scan & Go service that could allow consumers to check out in Walmart stores, not having to wait in line, is also planned.

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The new venture is deeply related to the growing share that Amazon has been stealing from Walmart over the past few years: while Jeff Bezo‘s giant secures the leadership as the biggest player in the US online retail sector, with nearly 40% of all sales; Walmart ranks 2nd, but with a large distance, accounting for a little more than 5% of the US e-commerce market.

Although a Walmart spokesperson confirmed to Recode that the membership program is indeed in development, no further information was provided. The retailer’s main idea, as the media outlet learned, however, it’s not to compete directly with Amazon Prime, but add other kinds of services such as the prescription drug and fuel discounts.

Currently, more than half of top-spending families from Walmart in the US are Amazon Prime members, as Recode informed – and compete with Jeff Bezo’s subscription empire – that offers from unlimited one-day shipping on millions of products to a large list of TV shows and movies available via streaming at $119 a year, would certainly be quite a challenge to the traditional retailer.