After putting it off for four months due to the COVID-19 outbreak, Walmart plans to finally roll out its own $98 a year subscription program this month to challenge the outright dominance of Amazon Prime and its 150 million-plus worldwide members, Recode is reporting.
The service will include access to Walmart’s new two-hour grocery delivery service, but not on an unlimited basis, and to exclusive deals, reserved delivery slots and discount gasoline. It could be launched regionally or nationally, according to Recode. Walmart would not comment on the report.
By contrast Prime, at $119 per year or $12.99 per month, offers unlimited free two-day shipping on over 1 million items, and one-day shipping on 3 million items – when that is actually possible again – access to music and video content, exclusive deals and discounts on purchases at Whole Foods stores, among other perks.
According to Recode, more than half of Walmart’s top spending customers are already Prime members, certainly a concern to the latter’s leadership, as are Amazon’s ongoing efforts to woo Walmart customers in lower income brackets.
Another concern is the potential for Amazon to peel off consumers with this kind of dual citizenship, enticing them to purchase more groceries through Prime — an area where Walmart remains dominant.