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Walmart Ramps Up Two-Day Shipping

Walmart’s test of a $49/year two-day shipping service is going wide.

The pilot ShippingPass program, which launched last spring by invitation only, is now being offered to the public along with a free 30-day trial.

As U.S. president/CEO Fernando Madeira noted, “ShippingPass is about half the price of similar programs out there at just $49 a year, and customers who are using it love it.”

Features also include unlimited year-long shipping, no minimum order, and free online or in-store returns.

Walmart’s prime competitor is Amazon’s $99/year Prime membership program, which provides one-day, two-day and Sunday deliveries, as well as a wealth of audio and video content and other perks at no extra charge.

The discounter didn’t disclose how many items are available for the service, but said it focused on bestselling products in core categories like CE, apparel, baby, and health and beauty, and excluded all merchandise from third-party sellers.

Nearly all locations within the Continental U.S. are now eligible for ShippingPass thanks to the rapid buildout of seven dedicated online distribution centers over the last 18 months, giving the retailer two-day access to 95 percent of U.S. customers.

Walmart’s multibillion-dollar e-commerce investment also included work at its @WalmartLabs facility in San Bruno, Calif., which conjured up the algorithms that determine where online orders should ship from.

Current ShippingPass members will receive an extra month of service at no charge, in light of the freetrial offer.