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Walmart will spend a minimal of $ 35 on transport for web site purchases for the membership program

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© Reuters. Individuals wearing protective face masks after a coronavirus outbreak appear on a Nikkei index screen in front of a broker in Tokyo

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By Melissa Fares

(Reuters) – Walmart (NYSE 🙂 Inc announced on Wednesday that it would raise the minimum order value of $ 35 that subscribers to its loyalty service must meet for next-day or second-day shipping as the retailer is focused on a dominated Christmas season prepared by online shopping.

The change, which begins on Friday, only applies to items on the retailer's website such as toys, appliances, and clothing. The company added that groceries delivered from stores still have the $ 35 minimum.

Touted as a rival to Amazon.com Inc's (NASDAQ 🙂 Prime subscription service, Walmart Plus was launched a little over two months ago to attract new customers and make existing customers more loyal as consumers cut their purchases on few Retailers are restricting due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Walmart Plus costs $ 98 per year or $ 12.95 per month.

With coronavirus infections on the rise in the United States, expectations have risen for Americans to do more of their vacation shopping from their living rooms and home offices rather than going to stores.

"We just thought that now, before the holidays, given the state of the pandemic, it was the absolutely right time for free shipping with no minimums," Janey Whiteside, chief customer officer at Walmart, told Reuters.

The number of online shoppers rose 44% over Thanksgiving weekend in the US, the National Retail Federation said Tuesday.

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