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Walmart to launch free next-day delivery in Phoenix, Las Vegas

(Walmart Photo)

PHOENIX – Walmart, the world’s largest retailer, will begin offering free next-day delivery of online orders starting in metro Phoenix and two other Western U.S. areas very soon, the company said Tuesday.

Membership will not be required, Mark Lore, president and CEO of Walmart eCommerce U.S., said in a memo posted at its website.

Las Vegas and an unspecified area in Southern California will be first up for the service, which begins in “the coming days,” according to Lore.

Plans were for the service to be offered in 40 of the 50 top metro areas by the end of the year.

Orders must total over $35 to be eligible. The company said 220,000 nongrocery items were on the shopping list.

The move comes on the heels of online marketplace giant Amazon announcing one-day delivery to Prime members on most items. Membership costs $119 a year.

“Our new NextDay delivery isn’t just great for customers, it also makes good business sense,” Lore wrote.

“Contrary to what you might think, it will cost us less – not more – to deliver orders the next day.”

Walmart hasn’t said what it will cost to make that happen, but Amazon said that it expected to spend $800 million in this year’s second quarter to speed up deliveries.

Walmart and Target already offer free two-day shipping for orders starting at $35 on their websites.

But Walmart said it was on track to offer pickup for online grocery orders at 3,100 stores and same-day grocery delivery from 1,600 locations.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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