Launched a year ago, the program is drawing subscribers at a faster-than-expected pace, according to a Wall Street analysis
NEW YORK – One year since the launch of Walmart+, the retailer’s membership program is growing faster than expected and has reached an “inflection” point, with an estimated 32 million U.S. subscribers, according to a note out this week from Krisztina Katai, an equity research analyst at Deutsche Bank.
Katai cites results from a consumer survey, in which 25% of respondents said they used Walmart+ this summer. That’s up from the 19% who said they used the program in preceding months.
Walmart+ costs $99 per year and provides free grocery deliveries and other perks, including prescription-drug benefits and a discount of 5 cents per gallon on fuel purchased at its gas stations or those operated by Murphy USA.
Bentonville, Ark.-based Walmart said it continued to gain share of the U.S. grocery market in the three months through July, driven in part by growth in the Walmart+ membership program.
And the retailer’s Sam’s Club unit hit an all-time high in memberships in the quarter, helping deliver a 7.2% jump in comp sales and a fourth consecutive quarter of double-digit growth, according to Walmart CEO Doug McMillon. Membership income increased 12.2% in the quarter.
“Sam’s Club in the U.S. continues to impress,” McMillon said on an earnings call. “Nineteen years ago, I got the opportunity to become the chief merchant at Sam’s, and I can confirm there hasn’t been a time in at least 19 years when Sam’s has had this much momentum.”
According to the latest Deutsche Bank survey, 61% of Walmart+ members are in households with incomes of more than $50,000 a year, and one-third of member households make at least $100,000 a year.