Walmart had done away with its $35 minimum shipping threshold for members who join Walmart+. This annual membership program cost $98. It was launched in September 2020 and offers free next day and two-day shipping to members. They also get 5-cent per gallon discount on gas. They can scan items with the store app when they shop in-store plus they can check out without waiting in line.
On Wednesday Walmart said that its fulfillment centers will no longer require a minimum $35 purchase for free shipping. Toys, electronics, clothing and other merchandise shipped through their fulfillment centers would qualify for free shipping though grocery orders, delivered through Walmart stores will still require a minimum purchase.
Analysts had earlier viewed the $35 minimum for free shipping as a weakness, as Amazon Prime requires no minimum purchase amount, except for Amazon Fresh, its grocery delivery service.
This new feature has increased its competition with its biggest rivals including Amazon and Costco as they have been offering good membership plans from years.
Although the number of consumers who have signed up for Walmart+ subscription plans has not been disclosed, CEO Doug McMillon told analysts on a call last month that the retailer was “excited about the results” so far.
In a research note, UBS analyst Michael Lasser estimated that Walmart+ had already gained five million members. He predicted that membership would reach 10 million subscribers within its first year.
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