Walmart (WMT) - Get Report announced it was scrapping its $35 minimum order requirement for express delivery, bringing it more in line with rivals Amazon.com (AMZN) - Get Report, Costco (COST) - Get Report, Target (TGT) - Get Report and other big-box retailers in offering no-minimum express delivery of items like food, consumables and general merchandise.
In a statement, Walmart said its customers will now be able to order produce, pantry staples, everyday essentials, toys and electronics without the minimum. Express delivery is currently offered in nearly 3,000 Walmart stores across the U.S.
The move comes less than three months after the Bentonville, Arkansas chain said it was doing away with a previous requirement that orders amount to at least $35 to qualify for free shipping, and that it would provide free shipping for orders of any size for customers who pay a $98-a-year membership fee.
“Many customers use express delivery for when they’re in a pinch, whether it be a missing ingredient for a weeknight dinner or a pack of diapers,” said Walmart senior vice president of customer product, Tom Ward, in a statement. “Customers told us sometimes the items they needed in a hurry didn’t meet the minimum, so we’re removing it.”
Orders to a customer’s front door still come with a per-delivery fee of $7.95 or $9.95, or shoppers can still pay for that monthly or annual Walmart+ fee, similar to Amazon Prime, which offers same-day delivery and other perks for $12.95 a month or $98 a year.
Walmart shoppers wanting free curbside pickup at a specific time and location can still do so - with a $35 minimum order.
Getting that toothbrush and toothpaste at lightning speed will still come at a premium. Express delivery still costs $10 on top of the existing delivery charge. Walmart+ members simply pay the $10 express fee, Walmart said.
The changes come as Walmart looks to put together a new finance technology startup. The Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg both reported on Sunday that the retailer is hiring Goldman Sachs (GS) - Get Report consumer bank lead Omer Ismail and his colleague David Stark to join its effort with investment firm Ribbit Capital.
At last check, Walmart shares were up 1.67% at $132.09.