The subscription service would offer grocery delivery and other perks to compete with the online retail giant.
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Back before everyone kept an eye on Jeff Bezos’ finances, the Waltons were the original retail billionaires everyone loved to talk about. Walmart founder Sam Walton’s heirs are still doing okay for themselves: Jim, Alice, and Rob rank 10th, 11th, and 12th on the Forbes list of wealthiest Americans. But the company their father started continues to lose ground to the brand from the man at the top of the list: Amazon.

Walmart’s biggest struggle against Amazon is exactly what you’d expect: online sales. According to Recode, Amazon accounts for about 40 percent of all online retail sales in the U.S.; Walmart, despite being second on the list, only makes up about 5 percent. Part of the problem is Amazon’s Prime subscription service which has created incredible consumer loyalty—something Walmart has attempted to replicate without much success. But now, the mostly-brick-and-mortar retailer is reportedly ready to take another stab with a new program called Walmart+ possibly getting introduced as soon as next month.

A Walmart store entrance
Credit: Joe Raedle / Staff/Getty Images

Unnamed sources told Recode that Walmart+ (which the company reportedly confirmed is in the works) will likely be a relaunch of Walmart’s $98 per year Delivery Unlimited same-day grocery service but with unspecified additional perks that could hopefully either lure in Prime customers or potentially be a service worth paying for in tandem with Prime. Recode’s sources suggested these perks could be things like discounts on gas or prescription drugs (two things Amazon isn’t yet able to compete on as easily) or tools to make ordering and checkout more convenient.

At this point the timeline and even the pricing—which sources said could change from the existing $98 or be offered at multiple price points—is extremely vague. But one thing is clear: Walmart will have to adjust to maintain its position as America’s top-grossing retailer. Last October, Packaged Facts stated that Amazon is on pace to out-earn Walmart by as soon as 2022, according to Supermarket News. At the same time, all is not lost for Walmart: Though Walmart’s U.S. sales were up 2.8 percent in the past year, e-commerce sales were up 37 percent. A successful subscription service could certainly help those numbers to continue to trend in the right direction.