San Bruno, Calif. – Walmart will begin testing a three-day shipping service for online purchases this summer.
The program will cost customers $50 a year, and will initially be available by invitation only, the Associated Press reported.
The initiative will serve as Walmart’s answer to Amazon Prime, the e-tailer’s popular $99 a year membership program that offers two-day shipping on over 20 million items. Amazon further sweetened the pot – which recently grew pricier by $20 – by adding access to a vast library of books, music, movies and TV shows, including old, current and original content. Unlimited Cloud photo storage is now also included with the flat annual fee.
At launch Walmart.com will limit its shipping offer to 1 million of it 7 million online SKUs, including CE and toys, but will not provide streaming content, a spokesman told AP.
The subscription service, codenamed “Tahoe,” was originally slated to launch before the 2014 holiday season but was delayed several times amid technical and other issues, according to tech site The Information.