Wal-Mart Takes on Amazon With Unlimited Shipping

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/ Source: Associated Press

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. will test a new unlimited shipping service for online shoppers this summer that will be priced below Amazon's $99 per year Prime service. The service is code-named "Tahoe" and is designed to help the company boost its online business and take on other e-commerce giants like Amazon.com.

Wal-Mart, the world's largest retailer, told The Associated Press on Wednesday that the shipping subscription service will cost customers $50 a year. Products will arrive in three days or less.

Wal-Mart offers a grocery delivery and pickup service in five markets. But the unlimited shipping program marks a substantial commitment and underscores how serious the retailer is about accelerating the growth of its online business, which has seen a slowdown.

The unlimited shipping service was first reported by The Information, a publication that covers the technology industry.

Ravi Jariwala, a company spokesman, said the offering is in response to increasing demands from customers who are looking for predictable and affordable shipping. It's also part of Wal-Mart's overall strategy to test new ways to serve customers who are increasingly researching and buying on their PCs or mobile devices and are looking for convenience.

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-- The Associated Press and CNBC contributed to this report.