On Wednesday, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE: WMT) announced that starting next week, it will offer discount on 10,000 online-only items if Wal-Mart shoppers choose to pick up the orders in stores. The plan was one of the company’s efforts to better compete with Amazon.
According to the company, starting on April 19th, the company will offer discount on 10,000 online-only items, and in June, the service will be available on over 1 million items. The amount of the discount will depend on the size and price of the items.
Wal-Mart began to beef up the staffing at service desks, and to develop a new training program for employees. This move is intended to solve the possible issue that will arise after the discount is offered. If customers have to wait in long lines to pick up the orders online, they will not be willing to use the service again. So the success of the move depends on the execution.
The basic idea of offering discount for online-only items was that the company get savings by not having to ship items directly to customers’ home, which is the most expensive part of the delivery process. The company passes the savings to offer discount to customers, and hopes to bring customers to stores to make additional purchase. The spokeswoman of the company declined to disclose details on whether Wal-Mart would generate the same profits by offering discounts.