WalMart moves to out-Prime Amazon
WalMart is eliminating the $50 minimum spending requirement for shoppers to receive free shipping on their online orders.
BY KRYSTINA GUSTAFSON, CNBC
(CNBC) - WalMart sees Amazon's Prime Day and is raising it four.
Just hours before Amazon's second Prime Day sales event, a self-invented holiday that offers exclusive deals for members of its subscription service, WalMart is eliminating the $50 minimum spending requirement for shoppers to receive free shipping on their online orders.
Also Monday, the discount retailer said it has slashed prices on a handful of products, including a Samsung 55-inch 4K TV for $598. That's half the usual price.
The deals are in addition to a promotion WalMart launched at the end of June, when it started offering a free 30-day trial for ShippingPass, its answer to Prime. The annual subscription service gives shoppers free unlimited two-day shipping for $49, compared with $99 for a Prime membership. However, Prime comes with additional perks, such as video streaming.
WalMart said the number of daily sign-ups for Shipping Pass have more than quadrupled since it announced the free trial last week. The subscription service first launched as a pilot last May, but until recently, shoppers were put on a waiting list before they could join.
WalMart's swipe at Amazon's day of deals is similar to the approach it took last year, when it reduced the minimum spending requirement for free shipping to $35.
Yet as Amazon has gotten more aggressive with the number of deals tied Prime Day, including rolling out discounts in the week leading up to the July 12 event, WalMart has looked to sweeten its offers as well. But one of its main talking points remains that shoppers can get discounts on its site more than one day a year.
"The online rollbacks will be extended offers beyond just a single day," spokesman Ravi Jariwala said.
The company would not specify exactly how long its new price cuts would last. But in the past, WalMart has said its rollbacks typically last 90 days. The retailer has also not yet decided how long it will offer its free 30-day ShippingPass trial, Jariwala said.
WalMart's promotion for free shipping with no minimum purchase runs through Friday.