Walmart Aims to Head Off Amazon With Free 2-Day Shipping Offer

A Wal-Mart Stores Inc. package is unloaded from a trailer to be sorted for final delivery at a FedEx Corp. Ground hub in Hagerstown, Maryland, U.S.

Upping the ante in the retail shipping wars, Walmart scrapped a subscription program that gave members free two-day delivery in order to make the service available to all of its customers.

Walmart customers shopping for items ranging from pet food to peanut butter will be able to get those items delivered to their homes within two days at no extra cost for a minimum purchase of $35, Walmart said. If they have the products delivered to a local store, customers don’t need to meet a spending threshold.

The move comes as Walmart, with its empire of superstores, struggles to find a formula to head off Amazon, which continues to grow as an online retailer. Amazon heavily promotes its offers of Amazon Prime, which charges $10.99 a month or $99 a year, for unlimited two-day shipping along with other perks. .

Walmart previously offered free two-day shipping to customers who paid a $49 fee to participate in Shipping Pass, a subscription service it was piloting. But that program is going away, and subscribers will get their fees refunded.

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SOURCE: USA Today, Charisse Jones