Walmart's Answer to Amazon Prime is Expected to Launch This Month

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Walmart is launching Walmart+ this month as it takes on Amazon Prime.

Walmart is launching Walmart+ this month as it takes on Amazon Prime, according to CNBC.

Walmart unveiled in February that it had plans to roll out a subscription-based service called Walmart+. The subscription to the program will cost $98 annually and includes same-day delivery of groceries, fuel discounts at Walmart gas stations, and other perks.

Walmart has not disclosed a definite release date for the service, but it is expected this month. Walmart is attempting to take on Amazon.com's Prime membership program. Amazon Prime has grown to over 150 million members and uses the service to encourage more frequent shopping. Amazon Prime costs $119 and gives customers fast and free shipping, access to Amazon streaming, and discounts at Amazon-owned grocery stores.

Walmart has been trying to keep pace with Amazon in the e-commerce business, but it hasn't been close. Amazon's market cap is $1.5 trillion, while Walmart is valued at $354 billion. However, Walmart is making progress. Just last year the company reported that online sales had grown 37 percent, beating its 35 percent goal. In the fiscal first quarter ending April 30, Walmart's online sales grew by 74 percent.

The bell-cow for Walmart's e-commerce push has been its grocery business. Walmart delivers groceries to the customer's home, but also offers curbside pickup. Recently, Walmart launched Express Delivery, a $10 service that delivers groceries to customers' doors in less than two hours.

Walmart has a long road ahead if it expects to catch Amazon, but Walmart+ could be the difference.

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Economics, Finance and Investing

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