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As part of an overall e-tail and tech push, Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is testing a two-day shipping subscription service in conjunction with regional delivery companies and its eight vast warehouses located across the United States, according to published reports. The last of these facilities is slated to be completed by the end of the year.
In 2015, the mega-retailer began offering a three-day shipping service, ShippingPass, for a $50 annual fee, considerably less than Amazon’s similar $99-a-year Prime program, which provides two-day shipping.
Starting this week, ShippingPass members will be eligible for free two-day shipping at $49 a year, The Wall Street Journal reported. The service is only available by invitation. Standard delivery on Walmart.com takes approximately a week.
The move by the Bentonville, Ark.-based retailer's broader strategy to accelerate e-commerce and technology advances across its global operations, Walmart CEO Doug McMillon said in a Q&A published in the company’s 2016 Annual Report. “We expanded online grocery shopping to new markets, ramped up in-store and in-club pickup, fully acquired the Chinese online retailer Yihaodian and began to add new mobile services such as Walmart Pay. We developed a technology platform that we can scale across the business," McMillon noted, and have also "improved our fulfillment capabilities with new centers that are helping us get orders to customers’ doors faster and more efficiently.”