Walmart is offering half off on new sign-ups to its $98-a-year Walmart+ subscription program, an offer which expires today, in a bid to boost membership ahead of Cyber Weekend and the rush to the conclusion of the peak holiday season. The giant retailer is also throwing in access to early Black Friday deals starting Nov. 7.
Nearly six months after doing so in the U.S., Amazon is increasing the cost of Prime in the UK and Western Europe by up to 43%, as it too battles inflationary pressures and higher operating costs. German Prime members will see a 30% increase, with a 20% bump in the UK; Spain, Italy and France will see annual increases between 39%-43%.
Walmart is adding its in-home delivery service an option for Walmart+ subscribers, making it easier for them to access the service through a single registration as it expands to new markets. Amazon for its part is giving Prime members a year of free GrubHub deliveries, while getting an option for a 2% stake in the company.
Walmart plans to open up four high-tech, automated fulfillment centers over the next three years, which when completed will enable it to reach 95% of the country in the Amazon Prime standard of two days or less, while streamlining fulfillment processes and increasing throughput. The news drops between a Q1 miss and Prime Day.
Shopify is acquiring asset-light last-mile startup Deliverr for $2.1B, further building out its fulfillment infrastructure and giving it a counter-move to Amazon’s new Buy With Prime that extends the Prime experience to other retailers. But the question is, will it be enough to enable Shopify to gain ground on its much larger competitor?
In a move surprising no one except for the timing, Walmart announced it’s dropping the $35 minimum order threshold for shoppers to qualify for same-day delivery with its Walmart Express service, just months after doing the same for members of its Walmart+ subscription program. Walmart’s ecommerce growth “fell” to 69% in Q4.