Walmart Matches Amazon With Free One-Day Shipping on Many Items

Walmart Matches Amazon With Free One-Day Shipping on Many Items

US retail giant Walmart announced Tuesday that it will provide customers with free next-day delivery covering hundreds of thousands of "most frequently purchased" items. These items include diapers, laundry detergent, toys, electronics and more.

According to Walmart, it will actually cost less to deliver orders the next day, because eligible items come from a single fulfillment center located closest to the customer.

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. Walmart hopes to expand the program to reach 75% of the population by years end.

Walmart rolled out its two-day free shipping service two years ago and said it's on track to offer grocery pickup from 3,100 stores and same-day grocery delivery from 1,600 stores by year-end. With the recent announcement of Amazon offering next-day Prime shipping, Walmart has raised the stakes by offering free next-day delivery with no membership. The orders have to be worth at least $35 to qualify. Amazon has declined to say when the switch will happen, but it already offers one-day delivery for some items in certain areas. In 2011, it began offering two-day shipping without a delivery fee - a shot, in part, at Amazon's Prime membership, which now runs at $119 per year. It also said it will roll out the service to 75 percent of the USA within the year.

"Our new NextDay delivery isn't just great for customers, it also makes good business sense", Marc Lore, President and CEO, Walmart eCommerce U.S. said in a statement on the company's website.

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A customer visits Walmart.com and toggles into the NextDay delivery experience to view items that are eligible for free NextDay delivery. "That's in contrast to online orders that come in multiple boxes from multiple locations, which can be quite costly".

Walmart says the new delivery program has been in the works for a while.

Walmart has been planning free next day shipping for a while.

Moody's analyst Charlie O'Shea described Walmart's one-day shipping option as "the latest salvo in the ongoing delivery arms race initiated and recently escalated by Amazon".

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