In its latest bid to compete with Amazon, Wal-Mart Stores Inc. has rolled out free two-day shipping to homes and stores on more than 2 million items, without a membership fee. The Bentonville, Ark.-based mega-retailer has also lowered the minimum purchase required for free shipping to homes to $35, from $50, while items shipped to stores continue to have no price threshold.
“We are moving at the speed of a startup,” said Marc Lore, president and CEO of Walmart U.S. ecommerce, and formerly of recent company acquisition Jet.com. “Two-day free shipping is the first of many moves we will be making to enhance the customer experience and accelerate growth.”
The free two-day shipping will be available on such household staples as baby necessities, pet products, foods like cereal and peanut butter, cleaning supplies, and beauty items, along with popular electronics and toys.
Additionally, the company continues to offer same-day store pickup on many items, a service available at more than 4,600 of its stores, as well as online grocery pickup at 600-plus locations nationwide, with plans to expand the service this year.
“In today's world of ecommerce, two-day free shipping is table stakes,” noted Lore. “It no longer makes sense to charge for it.”
Walmart has 11,593 stores under 63 banners in 28 countries, and e-commerce websites in 11 countries.