“Members will receive unlimited free delivery from stores, fuel discounts and access to tools that make shopping faster for families,” the Bentonville, Ark., company said in a statement.
“Membership will be available to all customers on Sept. 15. It will cost $98 a year or $12.95 a month and includes a 15-day free trial period.” Walmart says it plans to add more benefits in the future.
Amazon Prime, from the Seattle tech and online-retail giant, costs $119 a year or $13 a month. Students get Prime membership for $59 a year or $6.50 a month,
Walmart shares recently traded at $142.31, up 2.5%. They had climbed 17% year to date through Monday.
The unlimited free delivery includes in-store prices, with delivery as fast as same-day on more than 160,000 items, including groceries. This service was previously known as Delivery Unlimited.
Current subscribers to that program will automatically become Walmart+ members.
There will also be “Scan & Go.” Customers can use the Walmart app to scan their items as they shop and pay using Walmart Pay.
Fuel discounts are another part of Walmart+: 5 cents a gallon at nearly 2,000 Walmart, Murphy USA and Murphy Express fuel stations. Members soon will also be able to fuel up at Sam's Club stations, the company said.
“Life feels more complicated than ever. Walmart+ is designed to make it easier – giving customers an option to not have to sacrifice on cost or convenience,” said Walmart’s Chief Customer Officer Janey Whiteside.
Morningstar analyst Zain Akbari is bullish on the company.
“With unrivaled scale, prodigious procurement strength, a strong brand, and a growing e-commerce platform, we believe Walmart is the only American retailer that can compete comprehensively with Amazon’s retail offering,” he wrote in a commentary last month.
But Akbari says Walmart stock is overvalued, putting fair value at $116.