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Yesterday, we reported that Walmart will launch a subscription shipping service designed to compete with Amazon Prime, charging customers just $50 a year for unlimited deliveries in three days or less of qualified products.

Amazon charges $99 for its Prime service, offering two-day delivery.

For the moment, the service will be available by invitation-only.
KC's View:
I've had the chance to think about this, and upon reflection, I don't think I got the commentary right yesterday. I said, correctly, that Walmart has lost valuable competitive ground to Amazon and needs to make it up.

But I'm not confident, even though Walmart certainly seems willing to spend a gazillion dollars to get into the game. Reports say that Walmart's shipping program will offer one million items, as compared to Amazon Prime's 20 million - that's an enormous difference. Add to that the fact that Prime is about far more than just unlimited two-day shipping, but also includes a lot of streaming options that Walmart isn;t offering.

Plus, there's the fact that many of us feel that Amazon specializes in exceeding expectations, and you've got a tough act to follow.

One MNB reader put it this way:

I think Walmart’s fake Prime idea is kind of lame.  I’ve been a Prime member for way too long to think 3 days is acceptable.  I can’t recall ever paying shipping on, but that’s probably because orders over $50 are free anyway.  Anything less than that, I go Prime.  The most annoying part of all is it’s not even all of their products!  Yes, 1 million products is a lot, but I could just see me constantly wanting to order things that didn’t qualify for subscription shipping.  And though all of Amazon’s products aren’t available for Prime, MOST are. It’s extremely rare that I have to wait longer than 2 days for anything. I’m actually conditioned to it, and completely annoyed when I shop elsewhere and have to wait a week.  Online stores that take a week nowadays rarely see my dollar.  Oh, and will they have the lovely Sunday delivery agreement Amazon has?  Doubt it, though USPS could use all the help they can get.

Agreed on all counts.