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Walmart to Launch This Major New Service Later This Month

The retail giant announces new membership program that will make buying groceries and other items even easier.

Life is about to get a whole lot easier for Walmart shoppers willing to drop almost $100 to join a new loyalty program and get a bunch of cost-saving benefits on groceries and other items in return.

The world's largest retailer announced on September 1 that they are officially launching Walmart+, a new membership program that will bring together "in-store and online benefits to save customers money and time like no other retailer can." Memberships boat free deliveries, special discounts, and more, and will be available to all customers starting on September 15 with a free, 15-day trial period before costing $98 a year (or $12.95 a month), according to the press release.

Walmart lists the specific benefits you can expect from joining Walmart+ in their press release as:

"Unlimited free delivery: In-store prices as fast as same-day on more than 160,000 items from tech and toys to household essentials and groceries. This service was previously known as Delivery Unlimited–a subscription service that allows customers to place an unlimited number of deliveries for a low, flat yearly or monthly fee. Current subscribers will automatically become Walmart+ members.

Scan & Go: Unlock Scan & Go in the Walmart app—a fast way to shop in-store. Using the Walmart app, customers can scan their items as they shop and pay using Walmart Pay for a quick, easy, touch-free payment experience.

Fuel discounts: Fill up and save up to 5 cents a gallon at nearly 2,000 Walmart, Murphy USA and Murphy Express fuel stations. Sam's Club fuel stations will soon be added to this lineup."

These benefits come in addition to existing offerings the company has, such as Walmart's free curbside pickup, NextDay delivery, and two-day delivery. Walmart will continue to provide delivery options with a pre-delivery transaction fee so customers can still choose the service that's best for them. The retail giant also notes that the list of Walmart+ benefits will continue to grow over time.

During a recent call with investors, Janey Whiteside, Walmart's chief customer officer, described the membership program as "the ultimate life hack" for its customers. "We've talked a lot about how the way customers shop is rapidly evolving today more than ever. We know that customers want more products than they can find in stores and online," reported by Yahoo! Finance.

Over the past few years, Walmart has moved aggressively to compete with Amazon's dominance in the online retail space, and many have expected a subscription service to go up against Amazon Prime (which costs $119 per year but includes streaming video, music, and other services). Last year, Amazon added AmazonFresh grocery delivery for Prime members and expanded online grocery pickup from Whole Foods stores amid the coronavirus pandemic.

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