Walmart Inc. reportedly plans to launch a retail rival to Amazon Prime.
Walmart recently has intensified its rivalry with Amazon.com Inc. as retailers are racing to deliver online orders faster.
The new service reportedly will be called Walmart-Plus
The big-box retailer has over the past 18 months been exploring making its own paid membership model that would include certain perks that Amazon can’t match, Vox reported.
Walmart is considering an option where customers can use text messages to place orders, as part of Walmart-Plus, Vox said.
CNBC said a Walmart spokeswoman confirmed the retail titan is working on the project.
Amazon’s Prime membership costs users $119 per year for perks like unlimited one-day shipping on more than 10 million items and access to Amazon’s catalog of TV shows and movies, among other things. Amazon has said it has more than 150 million paying Prime members globally, CNBC said.
However, Walmart recently parting ways with grocery-delivery partner Skipcart, the latest defection from its network of logistics companies who often struggle to make ends meet schlepping cola and cantaloupes for the nation’s biggest food retailer, Bloomberg said.
Walmart can’t afford to lose momentum in its market-leading grocery business, which makes up 56% of its U.S. sales and has fueled its run of 22 consecutive quarters of same-store sales growth in its home market. Amazon.com Inc. now offers two-hour grocery delivery for its Prime customers for free in more than 2,000 cities, and grocery orders more than doubled in the fourth quarter.
Meanwhile, Walmart recently warned online sales growth will slow this year after posting lower-than-expected holiday quarter results, revealing the pressure traditional retailers are facing to keep pace with consumers who are increasingly shopping online.
Target Corp., Kohl's Corp. and Macy's Inc. also posted disappointing holiday sales in 2019, while Amazon.com logged record sales for the period, Reuters explained.
Walmart shares (WMT) and Amazon shares (AMZN) were down Thursday afternoon as the overall market rallied off an early plunge.
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