Walmart has announced that its long-rumored paid membership program, Walmart+, will be available on September 15. It will cost $12.95 per month or $98 annually and include a 15-day free trial period.
At launch, members will have access to unlimited home deliveries for groceries and general merchandise — as quickly as the same day they are ordered. Other perks include fuel discounts at Walmart, Murphy USA and Murphy Express gas stations, and access to proprietary technology such as “Scan & Go,” a mobile app that allows shoppers to scan goods as they pick them up in the store, pay at a self-service kiosk and immediately exit.
More benefits will be added to the membership service in the future, according to Vox/Recode. These perks “may include a branded credit card, early availability on product deals, and potentially, access to a popular streaming video service.”
“We’ve designed this program as the ultimate life hack,” said Janey Whiteside, Walmart’s Chief Customer Officer in a statement. “Walmart+ will bring together a comprehensive set of benefits where we see the greatest needs from our customers and where our scale can bring solutions at an unprecedented value.”
Whiteside told The Wall Street Journal that program tests showed that membership subscribers spend more and shop more often. Walmart’s existing grocery delivery service, called Delivery Unlimited, will automatically fold into Walmart+ come September 15.
Walmart is leveraging its primary competitive asset of 4,700 stores as an alternative to Amazon’s juggernaut Prime program, which has lured more than 150 million members worldwide. While Walmart promises same-day delivery from more than half (57%) of its store network, Prime guarantees one-day shipping for orders of any size and same-day delivery of groceries and “essentials” for minimum orders of $35 in an increasing number of localities. Other Prime perks include early access to deals and discounts, the exclusive Prime Day sale, a library of thousands of movies and award-winning TV shows, and ad-free music streaming.
Amazon Prime memberships cost $12.99 monthly or $119 annually for a typical member, $6.49 monthly or $59 annually for students and $5.99 per month for customers with a valid EBT or Medicaid card.