Walmart is launching a new subscription service called Walmart+ on Tuesday, Sept. 15. The company announced the launch date on Tuesday with a week to spare, signaling its latest move to compete with Amazon Prime and other retailers both on and offline. The company reportedly hopes to attract loyal members with a similar system of easy and familiar ways to shop, pay and receive deliveries.
Walmart+ will be a subscription service costing $12.95 per month, or $98 for the whole year paid upfront. Those who take the monthly route will end up paying $155.40 for the year. This membership will come with unlimited deliveries from Walmart stores without an additional fee, including same-day delivery in some cases depending on location. Walmart has 4,700 stores across the country, 2,700 of which offer same-day delivery.
"We are a company committed to meeting our customers' needs," said Walmart's chief customer officer Janey Whiteside in Tuesday's announcement. "Customers know they can trust us and depend on us, and we’ve designed this program as the ultimate life hack for them. 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."
Walmart+ subscribers will also save up to 5 cents per gallon on gasoline at Walmart, Murphy USA and Murphy Express gas stations — of which there are currently less than 2,000 across the country. However, Walmart reportedly plans to add gas stations to its Sam's Club wholesale markets in the future as well.
Finally, Walmart+ members will see a benefit within the store as well, since they will be able to access the new Scan & Go feature in the Walmart app. This allows them to scan their items with their smartphone as they shop, pay using Walmart Pay, and get out quickly.
Still, these perks fall a little short of the benefits offered by Amazon Prime. For one thing, an Amazon Prime subscription includes access to a wealth of digital content, including Amazon Video, Amazon Music and plenty of available add-ons. Amazon also offers two-day shipping nationwide, and same-day delivery from Whole Foods.
Amazon Prime does cost more than Walmart+ on a yearly basis, with those memberships going for $119. However, the monthly membership is just $12.99. Amazon also offers a huge system of discounts for customers who are full-time students, who have EBT or Medicaid cards, or other benefit programs. Walmart has not yet announced offerings to compete in that arena.