Walmart continues to modify its membership subscription plan

Walmart was behind the pack when it finally decided to launch its Walmart+ subscription program in June 2021. Amazon’s Prime subscription launched in early 2005, reaching 200 million members in October 2021.

Walmart did not disclose its membership count, but Deutsche Bank estimated in September 2021 that the retail giant had amassed around 32 million members.

The Bentonville-based retailer has made several changes to the program. Walmart announced a special summer sale event on June 2 and 3 for Walmart+ members only, which is similar to the Amazon Prime Day sale first held in July 2015.

Additionally, Walmart quietly decided last month to end its drugstore discount rolled out last year. Although the retailer did not issue a press release, it informed subscribers that they would no longer receive free prescriptions for a large number of commonly prescribed medications for chronic conditions such as blood pressure and weight maintenance. cholesterol. In the email obtained by Talk Business & Politics, Walmart said the “Rx for Less” benefit will end on May 31.

“We are sincerely sorry for any inconvenience and therefore we will extend your monthly subscription for 2 months for free,” Walmart noted in the email.

This follows Walmart’s expansion of the fuel discount to include about 12,000 U.S. Exxon and Mobil stations. Walmart continues to offer 5 and 10 cents per gallon rebate at its own stations such as those run by subsidiary Sam’s Club and partner Murphy USA.

Like Amazon Prime membership, free expedited shipping is a perk with Walmart+, but the brick-and-mortar retail titan doesn’t offer anything like Prime Video. Walmart recently offered its members a free six-month membership to access Spotify for music streaming.

Disappointing gross margin losses from Walmart, Target and Amazon this quarter could lead to more changes in membership plans. Amazon recently increased the price of its Prime subscription to $139 per year. Amazon also said those receiving government assistance under the SNAP program would pay $6.99 and it also offers students a discounted price of $7.49 or $69 per year. Walmart charges $98 per year, or $12.99 per month, for its Walmart+ subscription after a 30-day free trial.

“Ninety-one percent of our customers are aware of rising prices at the pump and nearly half of them have told us they are changing their behavior because of them,” Chris said. Cracchiolo, CEO of Walmart+. “Better access to a deeper discount will make a difference for our customers. We want Walmart+ to help our customers save time and money, not just when they shop with us, but throughout their day. We’re excited to keep finding new ways to keep them happy. »

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