Walmart (WMTIt will launch its highly-anticipated subscription-based membership called Walmart + this month.
The company said the annual membership, which begins nationwide on September 15, will cost $ 98 a year, or $ 12.95 a month. The feature is a clear shot across the bow at Amazon (AMZNWalmart’s fiercest retail competitor – and it’s offered at a discount on the tech giant’s iconic Prime subscription of $ 119 a year.
It also cemented Walmart’s own position as an internet giant in its own right. Throughout the pandemic, Walmart has reaped the rewards of being a core business that has remained open. Recently, the company a Tremendous rise in e-commerce businessAs consumers stored warehouse essentials and other merchandise during closures.
Walmart + members will have access to free, unlimited delivery of over 160,000 items, from groceries and hygiene items to toys and electronics, all of which will be delivered to their doorsteps as soon as possible on the same day. To qualify, applications must be at least $ 35.
Walmart + membership also features fuel discounts of up to 5 cents per gallon at Walmart, Murphy USA (MousaAnd Murphy Express gas stations. Members have access to the Scan & Go feature in the Walmart app, allowing customers to pay instantly and avoid cashier lines.
Janey Whiteside, Walmart’s chief customer officer, described the membership program as the “ultimate life hack” for its clients.
“We’ve talked a lot about how the way customers shop is evolving more quickly today than ever before. We know that customers want more products than they can find in stores and online,” Whiteside said in a call to reporters.
We know that they want services that meet the needs that arise in everyday life. We know our customers are looking to take back time while keeping more money in their pockets. ”
Walmart + benefits add to the retailer’s existing offerings such as free pier pickup, NextDay Delivery, and two-day delivery.
To be sure, the retailer intends to add more franchises to the membership offer in the future. Walmart also offers a free 15-day trial for membership.
Due to the growing dominance of Amazon, the subscription service has been anticipating for some time now.
However, Whiteside downplayed the impact of Amazon, saying, “It’s really important to us… making sure we understand what is most important to our customers. And as we go through the pandemic… what we’ve seen is that customers’ needs and desires change, and in the beginning, on the basis of Almost daily. “
According to the CEO, Walmart wanted to understand what matters to its customers and deliver the right benefits that are “strong enough, of large enough”.
Walmart shares have risen more than 13% since the start of the year. The stock closed down $ 1.45, or 1.03%, at $ 138.85 on Monday.
Julia Laroche is Yahoo Financial Correspondent. follow her Twitter.