Retail behemoth Wal-Mart Stores will test a US program to provide unlimited delivery of goods for $50 a year in the coming months, challenging Amazon's similar service.
Under the program, which will be tested in five US markets, Wal-Mart will ensure delivery of clothing, appliances, toys and other offerings within three days for online customers. The service will not include perishable groceries, Ravi Jariwala, a spokesman for the US retailer, said in a phone interview late Wednesday.
The service will be available by invitation in the five markets, Jariwala said. He declined to name the markets or to say how the long the trial will last.
The world's biggest retailer, Wal-Mart has been building up its online business in the wake of mediocre sales in its home market.
The program competes directly with Amazon's Prime service, which charges $99 a year for limitless delivery on selected products and includes other perks, such as free viewing on Amazon's television and music streaming services.
Jariwala said the Wal-Mart program could be expanded to include a streaming-video component, but that would depend on customer feedback.
Wal-Mart in 2010 acquired Vudu, which distributes movies and television shows on demand via the Internet.