Walmart is offering its subscribers a new return option — a free pickup service that becomes available in October.
The program for Walmart+ members, which will be available in yet unnamed markets, lets a subscriber make arrangements for a driver to pick up unboxed items from their homes, according to a Wall Street Journal report.
The goal is to help customers save time, especially in the holiday season time frame.
Walmart launched its membership program, Walmart+, in 2020 in an effort to build a program that could rival Amazon Prime, which ended 2021 with 172 million members in the U.S., according to Consumer Intelligence Research Partners, a market research company. The Walmart spokeswoman declined to say how many subscribers Walmart+ had.
Walmart+ is at least the company’s second attempt to launch a subscription program that could take on Amazon. In 2017, the company scrapped an earlier version of the program called ShippingPass, which for nearly two years offered free two-day shipping for a $49 yearly fee.
The news comes on the heels of a report predicting more consumers will be shopping e-commerce sites when it comes to holiday purchases this year with one annual forecast predicting growth to land between 12.8% and 14.3% compared to the same time frame in 2021, according to Deloitte research. This year’s e-commerce holiday sales are expected to reach between $260 billion and $264 billion.