Walmart Plus reportedly challenging Amazon Prime – here are the benefits

Walmart future truck
(Image credit: Walmart)

Attention, Walmart shoppers: America's largest retailer is reportedly ready to take on Amazon Prime – finally – with its own annual subscription service later this month.

Walmart Plus will cost $98 a year starting in July, according to Recode, and will include perks like same-day deliveries, discounts on gas, access to early product deals and, when shopping in-person, a members-only Scan & Go checkout line.

If true, the Walmart Plus loyalty program would undercut the 15-year-old Amazon Prime subscription by $21 (it currently costs $119 annually) and include the benefit of gas and in-store line-cutting benefits.

The ongoing Covid-19 pandemic has made grocery deliveries from Amazon Prime Fresh and Walmart Groceries invaluable to families across the US, and having same-day delivery attached to Walmart's service may be the biggest perk of Walmart Plus.

Walmart Plus: 15 years in the making

Amazon Prime launched in 2005 and has grown to 150 million members globally in those 15 years. On the back of that, the online retailer has been able to generate a valuation of $1.5 trillion, according to Recode. Walmart sits at just $337 billion.

Yet Walmart remains the bigger overall revenue driver and largest US employer with an unmatched brick-and-mortar retail operation. Walmart Plus would mark a major shift in its lagging online and delivery strategy.

There are many questions that remain: will Walmart Plus be able to serve everyone nationwide? Walmart is notoriously not in New York City, but Amazon-owned Whole Foods is, so we're eager to here about those same-day delivery routes across the US.

Also, Walmart sold off its video streaming service Vudu to Fandango in early 2020, meaning Walmart Plus may launch without going toe-to-toe with Amazon's Prime Video service, which is conveniently rolled into the Prime subscription package. In terms of added perks, both services don't have exactly equal features.

Matt Swider