The service will initially be available only in a select number of areas (Phoenix and Las Vegas for now and Southern California in the coming days), but the company says it will offer the service to roughly 75% of the country by the end of the year. Unlike Amazon, which limits free one-day delivery to Amazon Prime members, the Walmart offer will be available to anyone, without the need for a paid membership.
“Contrary to what you might think, it will cost us less – not more – to deliver orders the next day,” said Marc Lore, President and CEO, Walmart eCommerce U.S. in a statement. “That’s because eligible items come from a single fulfillment center located closest to the customer. This means the order ships in one box, or as few as possible, and it travels a shorter distance via inexpensive ground shipping.”
Walmart has been planning free next day shipping for a while. Soon after Amazon announced plans to invest $800 million to ensure Prime members got their orders the following day, the retailer issued a tweet saying “One-day free shipping…without a membership fee. Now THAT would be groundbreaking,” then refused to comment beyond that.