Walmart launches Amazon Prime-like membership plan

American retailing giant Walmart has decided to close the gap on its e-commerce rival Amazon by launching a membership plan similar to Amazon Prime. The plan, known as Walmart+, will reportedly cost $98 per year and undercut Prime membership’s annual $119 fee. Walmart+ will offer same-day delivery of products and groceries, fuel discounts, and other deals to subscribers.

Walmart had originally planned to roll out its Walmart+ plan earlier this year in March. However, the outbreak of the pandemic delayed Walmart’s plans. The Walmart news of the rollout was reported by Recode and it led the stock to jump almost 7% in a day. WMT stock closed at $126.95 on 7th July 2020, up 4.71% for the past month.

Skeptics point out that Walmart’s delivery slots aren’t always available and the grocery inventory is also quite limited. It remains to be seen how Walmart’s offering will develop into a full-featured solution that is needed to take on Amazon’s Prime. Amazon Prime has more than 150 million subscribers worldwide.

A Prime membership not only offers fast shipping, but also other benefits like music and video streaming as well as access to special deals. Amazon incentivizes its subscribers to buy as much as they can from Amazon. Therefore, it remains to be seen whether customers will subscribe to both Amazon Prime and Walmart+ or whether competition will lead to the migration of some customers from one plan to the other. Amazon stock closed at $3000.12, down 1.8% for the day.

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