Walmart is wading deeper into online competition with Amazon by offering discounts on more than ten thousand items if consumers order them online and pick them up at a Walmart store.
The number of items will expand to one million by the end of June, the retailer said.
Surveys have suggested that consumers like the convenience of ordering something online, then driving to a nearby store to find it waiting for them. It works especially well for big box retailers, saving consumers the hassle of wandering the aisles to find the item, or asking a store associate to help them find it, then waiting in a checkout line.
Walmart CEO Marc Lore says the new system will take advantage of supply chain efficiencies, and the company will pass some of the savings on to consumers. The discounts will start April 19.
"We’re creating price transparency to empower customers to shop smarter and choose what’s best for them," Lore said in a statement. "Now, they can either pick up and save even more money, or ship two-day for free to home, without paying for a membership."
Lore said the discounts are possible because the system will remove the "last mile" delivery costs. In addition, Lore says Walmart cuts costs when it delivers goods from its fulfillment centers directly to stores.
Items eligible for the discount will be flagged that way on the store's website. Walmart lists these examples as typical discounts:
Britax B-SAFE 35 Infant Car Seat, Slate Strie – $140.65 after a $7.40 discount.
LEGO City Great Vehicles Ferry, 60119 – $21.44 after a $2.55 discount.
Coleman 150 qt Heritage XP Marine Cooler – $107.03 after a $4.46 discount.
VIZIO SmartCast M-Series 70" Class 4K Ultra HDTV (M70-D3) – $1,648 after a $50 discount.
Free two-day delivery
The pickup discounts follow Walmart's move in January to offer free two-day shipping on more than two million items without requiring customers to sign-up for a membership, a shot at Amazon's Prime membership program.
If the item you purchase is not among the two million covered by the new program, Walmart says it will provide free shipping if the order totals $35, down from $50. Items shipped for pick-up at stores have no price threshold.