Walmart unveils $98-a-year subscription service
(CNN) -- Walmart on Tuesday unveiled a subscription service that will go toe-to-toe with Amazon Prime.
The $98-a-year Walmart+ membership plan includes free shipping on items $35 and over, including same-day deliveries on certain items from stores, including groceries. Members will also get 5-cent-per-gallon discounts on gasoline and the ability to scan items with the Walmart app while they shop in stores (and pay without waiting in a checkout line).
Walmart called the new Walmart+ service the "ultimate life hack." It will replace Delivery Unlimited, which cost the same amount but was limited to about a quarter of the 4,700 stores that will ship items to Walmart+ customers.
Although Walmart+ undercuts Amazon Prime by $21 a year, it lacks many of its rival's benefits. For example, Prime requires no minimum purchase to qualify for free shipping, and it includes a number of other perks, such as free streaming of music, TV shows and movies and unlimited photo storage. It also gives customers discounts at Whole Foods in addition to free two-hour grocery delivery.
So Walmart has some serious catching up to do. The company said it will add more features to its membership plan over time.
But the key attraction of Walmart+ may be its stores. About 90% of Americans live within 10 miles of a Walmart, according to the company. The fact that 2,700 of its stores will ship items on the same day may help it beat Amazon in delivery speeds in many areas.
Walmart+ will begin offering its service to customers September 15.
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