Feb 28, 2020 - Economy & Business

Walmart tests rival to Amazon Prime

Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Walmart plans to start publicly testing its new membership program called Walmart+ next month in hopes of competing with Amazon Prime, Recode's Jason Del Rey scoops.

Why it matters: The paid membership program "would include perks that Amazon can’t replicate, in part to avoid a direct comparison to Prime."

Walmart+ is expected to be a rebrand of Walmart'sDelivery Unlimited services, which charges customers $98 a year for unlimited, same-day delivery of fresh groceries, Recode writes.

  • Walmart+ ultimately "could include discounts on prescription drugs at Walmart pharmacies and fuel at Walmart gas stations, as well as a Scan & Go service that would allow shoppers to check out ... without waiting in line."

The bottom line: Walmart's executives believe customers need to view the program as valuable enough to pay for it, while simultaneously being different enough from Amazon Prime as to avoid a comparison Walmart likely wouldn't win.

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Walmart receives bids for multi-billion stake in U.K. supermarket Asda

Photo: Matthew Horwood/Getty Images

Walmart received several first-round bids for a majority stake in the British supermarket chain Asda, which could fetch at least £7 billion, per Bloomberg.

Why it matters: This is a big test of whether private equity can still secure large debt financing packages at attractive rates.

Coronavirus is creating a renaissance for online grocery delivery

Data: Civic Science survey over four weeks; 7,606 total respondents; MOE ± 3%; Chart: Axios Visuals

Online grocery shopping has had a renaissance over the past month as the coronavirus outbreak has sequestered more people indoors.

The state of play: The number of people who say they are doing more grocery shopping online has risen from 11% on March 1 to 41% on March 22, fresh data from CivicScience shows.

Businesses mobilize to support employees during coronavirus outbreak

Harry Westhoff, 71, runs groceries back to his car in Teaneck, N.J., after Stop & Shop opened special morning hours for people 60-plus. Photo/John Minchillo/AP

Getting behind an idea from Andrew Ross Sorkin that excited CEOs, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce called on Congress to pass a "bridge loan" program to give federally guaranteed loans to companies with big losses from the pandemic.

How it works: The loans would include incentives for employers to maintain existing current workers at their existing pay.