In another sign that the online competition between Amazon and Walmart is heating up, Walmart took Amazon to task on its blog today for its upcoming sale. Amazon has been heavily promoting what it calls Prime Day (July 15th), which will feature loads of sales available only to Amazon Prime members. In a tongue-in-cheek spoof of Amazon’s Prime Day ad, Walmart points out that it doesn’t charge customers a fee for access to its prices. But Walmart is going a step further by launching what it calls “atomic deals” this week.
“We’ve heard some retailers are charging $100 to get access to a sale,” Walmart president and CEO Fernando Madeira wrote in a blog post today. “But the idea of asking customers to pay extra in order to save money just doesn’t add up for us.”
The $100 Fernando is referring to is the $99 price of a year’s membership to Amazon Prime. Amazon has been pushing its Prime service heavily in recent years, adding free movies and TV shows to its Prime Instant Video, music streaming, photo storage, free two-day shipping and other features to encourage customer loyalty. Amazon is framing its July 15th Prime-only sale as being even bigger than Black Friday in terms of the sheer number of deals.
Walmart’s response sale looks pretty enticing, too. “We’re kicking off some awesome deals this week that will be available for everybody with no hidden costs or admission fees, and they won’t be available for just one day,” Fernando wrote. “Our customers will see thousands of great deals on Rollback beginning this week along with some special atomic deals (more on that in the days to come).”
This sort of head-to-head is going to be good news for everybody. It’s hard to see how Walmart’s atomic deals will convince Amazon Prime members to abandon Prime Day, but it might put a dent in the number of would-be customers who were considering signing up for Prime – at least, temporarily. Regardless, it looks like anyone who wants to do some early holiday shopping is going to have a good week.