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If you’re unable to get to the grocery store, online ordering can be a great option. But you may run into these issues.

USA TODAY

Walmart’s new and highly-anticipated membership program will soon be available to all shoppers.

The retail giant announced early Tuesday that Walmart+ will launch Sept. 15 for $98 a year or $12.95 per month with unlimited free delivery from stores (on orders $35 or more), fuel discounts and a new Scan & Go feature for in-store shopping.

Janey Whiteside, the retailer’s chief customer officer, called the program, which will have a 15-day free trial period, as the “ultimate life hack” for customers.

“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,” Whiteside said. 

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The delivery will be as fast as same-day on more than 160,000 items from groceries, household essentials to tech and toys.

The program is considered competition for Amazon, who set the standard for grocery delivery with Prime Now in 2014. The service is part of Amazon’s broader Prime membership that offers free two-day shipping on millions of items and other benefits including streaming of television shows and movies for $119 per year or $12.99 per month.

Instacart and Target-owned Shipt both offer annual memberships of $99 and access to items from multiple stores. DoorDash also is rolling out a new grocery delivery service at stores including Wegmans, Hy-Vee, Gelson’s and others. 

Americans have turned to online shopping more since the start of the coronavirus pandemic with digital sales growing 97% at Walmart and 195% at Target in the second quarter.

CEO Doug McMillon said during the Aug. 18 earnings call with analysts that the company had been testing membership with Delivery Unlimited subscriptions since late last year.

The program, which also cost $98 annually, was initially limited to groceries and consumables but expanded to categories throughout its Supercenter stores. Current Delivery Unlimited subscribers will automatically become Walmart+ members. 

“We think that assortment breadth and our ability to deliver with speed nationally, combined with a few other benefits for customers, will result in a compelling proposition,” McMillon said.

Walmart+ benefits

According to Walmart, more benefits will be added but here are the program’s inital benefits:

  • Unlimited free delivery: For orders $35 or more, get in-store prices “as fast as same-day on more than 160,000 items from tech and toys to household essentials and groceries.”
  • Scan & Go: In the Walmart app, unlock the new Scan & Go feature to scan items as you shop and then pay using Walmart Pay “for a quick, easy, touch-free payment experience.”
  • Fuel discounts: Save up to 5 cents a gallon at nearly 2,000 Walmart, Murphy USA and Murphy Express fuel stations. Walmart says Sam’s Club fuel stations will soon be added to its lineup. 

Contributing: Dalvin Brown, USA TODAY; Associated Press

Follow USA TODAY reporter Kelly Tyko on Twitter: @KellyTyko

Read or Share this story: https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/2020/09/01/amazon-prime-walmart-plus-membership-subscription-free-shipping-perks/3448879001/





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