Walmart has confirmed plans to launch a membership programme to rival Amazon Prime as over the coming weeks.
Walmart Plus has been in the works for around 18 months, according a report from Vox published last week, and the US’ largest physical retailer plans to begin public testing as early as this month.
It is understood that the Walmart Plus service will largely be a rebrand of its Delivery Unlimited service which offers subscribers unlimited same-day deliveries for $98 a month, but with multiple price points.
According to Vox, it will also include new features like the ability to order good via text message, perks like discounts on prescription drugs and fuel at branded outlets alongside a scan-and-go service.
The programme will aim to save customers time and money while remaining different enough from Amazon Prime to not be directly compared and warrant further investment.
This is not the first instance of Walmart trying to emulate the online retail giant and make up some of the market share it has lost amid Amazon’s meteoric rise to dominance.
In September it announced that it was launching “Fulfilled by Walmart” offering third party retailers storage and shipping services just like its online rival.
Walmart’s marketplace platform for third party sellers was launched in 2009 and now offers around 75 million products, less than a third of Amazon’s 300 million.
Though both charge similar fees for sellers to list items on their respective platforms, until now Walmart has relied on other companies to handle deliveries.