Walmart takes on Amazon Prime with free, next-day deliveries


"Contrary to what you might think, it will cost us less - not more - to deliver orders the next day". The number of products that qualify for NextDay is limited to around 220,000 items, but Walmart states they are the most frequently purchased items.

The Walmart deal will be available to online shoppers in Phoenix and Las Vegas and then expand to Southern California in the coming days, the head of its USA e-commerce service, Marc Lore, told Reuters in an interview.

Walmart is rolling out next-day delivery beginning in Phoenix, Las Vegas, and Southern California, with plans to reach approximately 75% of the U.S. population this year. By the end of 2019, Walmart expects to reach roughly 75 percent of the US population.

The retailer says it is rolling out the new delivery program in the 2 cities for anyone who spends $35 or more. Walmart has also been expanding same-day grocery delivery service fulfilled from its stores for a fee of about $10. It is available on orders of $35 or more.

"This means the order ships in one box, or as few as possible, and it travels a shorter distance via cheap ground shipping", said Mark Lore, president and CEO of Walmart ecommerce U.S. "That's in contrast to online orders that come in multiple boxes from multiple locations, which can be quite costly".

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The move ramps up Walmart's efforts to keep pace in electronic commerce with Amazon, which offers speedy deliveries to its Prime subscription members. Everything that the user places into the NextDay delivery cart must be eligible to get the free delivery. Walmart says that will provide coverage for Grocery Pickup to 80% of the USA population and same-day delivery to 50% of the U.S. population by year's end. Cut-off times will vary by location, according to the company.

Next day shipping will only be available to customers in Phoenix and Washington initially.

Walmart sends out boxes from multiple warehouses around the country under its two-day shipping program, but with one-day shipping, it is stocking inventory in the closest single warehouse to the shopper, Lore said.

Walmart also said it is positioned to offer even faster delivery to customers within the near future.