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Brief Published: 11 Jun 2012

Walmart’s Subscription-Based Food Service


US superstore Walmart is aiming to bolster its e-commerce revenue with the introduction of Goodies, a new programme that will deliver an array of artisanal foods to subscribers each month.

The concept mirrors existing retail subscription schemes – including gift-oriented Not Another Bill and beauty initiatives Beachmint and Birchbox – which deliver a variety of gifts or samples to subscribers each month. It is designed to introduce customers to new artisanal grocery products that Walmart might carry in future.

Although the exact monthly fee for Goodies has not been announced, Neil Ashe, CEO of global e-commerce, emphasised that it would be reasonable. “Think of it as cheap,” he said at a press briefing in Arkansas last month.

Ashe also pointed out that while most of Walmart’s other offerings can be found online, food products are noticeably less prominent. "What hasn't moved online yet are the true grocery and consumables categories.”

For now, Walmart will choose what is placed in each Goodies box. However, there is scope for outside companies to pay for their products to be featured in future. 

That Walmart has chosen to shift focus towards the artisanal food offerings in its grocery range clearly indicates the brand is keen to move beyond its traditional remit and endear itself to the growing number of “foodies” springing up.  

For more on the allure, value and opportunities associated with subscription-based initiatives, see our report, Subscription Shopping: The Personalised Purchase Builds Momentum.