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Walmart waives online order minimum on free shipping for Plus members

·Former Correspondent
·2 min read

Walmart (WMT), the world's largest retailer, will remove the $35 order minimum for Walmart+ members to qualify for free shipping as it expands perks for the new membership program.

In mid-September, Walmart launched Walmart+, which costs $98 per year, or $12.95 per month, as the retail behemoth takes on its fiercest rival Amazon (AMZN) and its $119 per year Prime subscription.

Shoppers checking out at a cash register in Wal Mart in Illinois.
Shoppers checking out at a cash register in Wal Mart in Illinois.

The main draw of Walmart+ is that members get access to unlimited free delivery on more than 160,000 items, from groceries and toiletries to toys and electronics, which can be delivered as soon as the same day. Deliveries for groceries, however, must still meet the $35 threshold.

“It feels like a life hack is needed now more than ever, and Walmart+ is here to help. No other membership allows customers across the country to get everything from gingerbread cookies and eggnog to holiday decorations and toys delivered for free as soon as the same day. Walmart+ is designed to make life easier – giving customers an option to not have to sacrifice on cost or convenience,” Janey Whiteside, Walmart’s chief customer officer, said in a statement.

The Walmart+ membership also features fuel discounts of up to 5 cents per gallon at Walmart, Murphy USA (MUSA) and Murphy Express gas stations. Members can access the Scan & Go feature in the Walmart App, allowing customers to pay on the spot and avoid the cashier lines.

Last week, Walmart said it would leverage its store fleet to fulfill e-commerce orders as online shopping continues to surge throughout the pandemic and the holiday shopping season.

As shoppers seek to avoid crowds during the COVID-19 pandemic, e-commerce sales have skyrocketed. Walmart said its online sales rose 79% in the third quarter. In the second quarter, Walmart's online sales jumped 97%.

Walmart operates a fleet of more than 4,700 stores in the U.S. Approximately 90% of the U.S. population lives within 10 miles of a Walmart. The retailer currently offers delivery across 2,800 of its stores, covering about 70% of the country.

Julia La Roche is a correspondent for Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter.