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Walmart (WMT) Boosts Delivery Services With Walmart+ Launch

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Walmart Inc.’s (WMT - Free Report) much-talked-about membership program, Walmart+, is here and customers countrywide can sign up for it. The membership program, which will cost $98 annually (or $12.95 monthly), comes with a free trial period of 15 days. With lucrative features like unlimited free delivery, fuel discounts and Scan & Go, Walmart+ is likely to be a hit.

In fact, industry experts believe that the launch of Walmart+ ahead of the holiday season is likely to keep the retail giant well placed amid competitive forces from Amazon (AMZN - Free Report) .

All About Walmart+

Customers can join the Walmart+ membership program at Walmart.com/plus. Walmart+ subscription will offer its users free same-day delivery on more than 160,000 products. These will include a wide variety of products, ranging from toys, tech, household essentials to groceries. Earlier, the company offered the Delivery Unlimited subscription service, through which customers can place orders for unlimited grocery deliveries by paying a monthly/yearly fee. Notably, existing subscribers of Delivery Unlimited will automatically become members of Walmart+.

Another perk of the Walmart+ program is Scan & Go, which enables users to scan their products using the Walmart application while shopping in stores. In fact, shoppers can make prompt, hassle-free and contact-free payments using Walmart Pay. Along with these, subscribers of Walmart+ will have access to discounts on fuel at about 2,000 Walmart, Murphy USA and Murphy Express fuel stations. In fact, Sam’s Club gas fuel stations will also be included in the subscription shortly.

Other Efforts to Ace Delivery Services

Walmart has been undertaking various other moves to enhance deliveries. To this end, the omnichannel retailer has been testing drone delivery for certain health and wellness-related products. The supermarket giant recently unveiled that it is collaborating with Zipline to introduce drone delivery operations in the United States. Prior to this, the company unveiled that it is piloting drone delivery with Flytrex, which is an end-to-end drone delivery company.

Further, the company offers services such as Express Delivery, which helps deliver orders to customers in less than two hours. Walmart’s Pickup program enables customers to place orders online and then pick them up at a store. Apart from these, partnerships with Postmates, DoorDash, AxleHire and Roadie, and the acquisition of Parcel have been further supporting Walmart’s delivery capabilities. As of the end of the second quarter, Walmart U.S. had nearly 3,450 pickup locations and 2,730 same-day delivery locations.

Robust delivery services, together with other e-commerce endeavors, helped this omnichannel retailer to record a whopping 97% increase in U.S. e-commerce sales in the second quarter of fiscal 2021. We believe that efforts to step up deliveries are likely to continue being in Walmart’s favor, especially at a juncture where social distancing has led to increased demand for contactless deliveries. Markedly, shares of this Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) company have rallied 15.4% in the past three months compared with the industry’s growth of 14.3%.

2 More Solid Retail Stocks

Target Corporation (TGT - Free Report) , with a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), has a long-term earnings per share growth rate of 7.2%. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Kroger (KR - Free Report) has a long-term earnings per share growth rate of 5.5% and a Zacks Rank #2.

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