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Walmart to introduce discounts on pickup

Jet-like “price transparency” for 1M online-only products

Wal-Mart Stores said Wednesday that it would begin offering discounts for online shoppers who select to pick their purchases up in a Walmart store.

The discounts will begin next week on around 10,000 items that are only available online, the company said. Walmart said it intended to extend the offer to more than 1 million products in June.

The announcement represents an early manifestation of Jet.com’s “price transparency” approach to e-commerce applied at Walmart.com and integrated at physical stores. Walmart acquired Jet for $3 billion late last year, and installed its founder, Marc Lore, as president and CEO on its U.S. e-commerce operation. Walmart is betting that getting the consumer to participate in the effort to reduce costs – what CEO Doug McMillon calls “EDLP 2.0” – will help its effort to win the omnichannel shopping game.

“We’re creating price transparency to empower customers to shop smarter and choose what’s best for them. Now, they can either pick up and save even more money, or ship two-day for free to home, without paying for a membership,” Lore said in a statement.

Lore said the discounts represent Walmart’s lower fulfillment cost for customers who prefer to provide the “last mile” delivery themselves and the efficiency of shipping to stores and not homes. Walmart operates more than 4,700 stores. Jet.com similarly provides discount offers that reflect more efficient fulfillment options, such as not returning their items, paying by debit card or buying items that could ship together.

The program which Walmart is calling Pickup Discount, begins April 19. A sampling of items under the program the company provided call for discounts ranging from $50 off the retail price – a 2.9% discount -- on a $1,698 Vizio television to a 10.6% price break on a Lego City toy regularly priced at $23.99.

“We are doing a lot to enhance the Pickup (sic) experience to make it even simpler and more convenient for customers,” Lore added. “We’ve also been hard at work aggressively expanding our Online Grocery Pickup service which is now in 600 stores with an additional 500 coming this year.”

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