Walmart Removes Minimum Shipping For Subscription Service, Prepares To Take Amazon

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Walmart said on Wednesday that members’ orders on items such as electronics, clothing, toys and other merchandise shipped through Walmart fulfillment centers will no longer carry a minimum of $ 35 to qualify for free shipping. . But grocery orders delivered through its stores will still have a minimum purchase requirement.

Walmart launched Walmart +, its $ 98-a-year subscription plan, in September. In addition to free next day and two day shipping, Walmart + members also get 5 cents per gallon gasoline rebates and the ability to scan items with the Walmart app while shopping. in physical stores (and to pay without waiting in a queue at the checkout).

Analysts view Walmart (WMT) membership as another way for the retailer to grow their business online and compete with high income shoppers with Amazone (AMZN), Costco (COST) and other retail giants.

Some analysts, however, initially viewed Walmart’s $ 35 shipping minimum as a weakness compared to Amazon Prime, which requires no minimum purchase to qualify for free shipping. (Most grocery delivery orders through Amazon Fresh, Amazon’s grocery delivery service, also have a minimum of $ 35.)

Walmart has yet to reveal how many people have signed up for Walmart +. But CEO Doug McMillon said on a call with analysts last month that Walmart was “excited about the results” so far.

UBS analyst Michael Lasser estimated in a research note last month that Walmart + has already attracted up to five million members and that the number of members will reach 10 million in the first year.

Amazon said earlier this year that Amazon Prime has more than 150 million members worldwide.

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