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Walmart gets speedier with two-day delivery

Testing out a paid two-day shipping program is the discounter's most direct challenge yet to Amazon's online supremacy.

Walmart has been making aggressive moves to increase its e-commerce presence and digital services, shutting hundreds of stores, while it upgrades others, and improving the overall shopping experience for customers.

The company will employ regional delivery companies including the East Coast's LaserShip, the West Coast's OnTrac and the Midwest's United Delivery Service to take some of the package deliveries away from FedEx (FDX), which now handles the majority of its parcels, the Journal adds.

Wal-Mart's revenue has shrunk 1% year over year in each of the last two quarters, and its diluted earnings per share has contracted for four quarters in a row.

In 2015, the mega-retailer began offering a three-day shipping service, ShippingPass, for a $50 annual fee, considerably less than Amazon's similar $99-a-year Prime program, which provides two-day shipping.

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The service is only available by invitation.

The regular delivery schedule for Walmart is a week or so.

Wal-Mart has already said that through 2017 it would spend some $2 billion to boost its e-commerce efforts, and with this new shippng effort, the retailer shows that it's willing to take on Amazon on more than just price, moving into a logistics arena where Amazon has some clear advantages-including scope and scale, which both likely garner Amazon price breaks on fulfillment. Many still struggle to make a profit shipping low-priced items such as tubes of toothpaste, boxes of pasta or socks to people's homes.

Wal-Mart will utilize eight massive e-commerce warehouses throughout the USA and rely more heavily on regional carriers to deliver packages, sources told the Wall Street Journal.

As part of a push to speed up deliveries, Wal-Mart will turn to regional carriers for an increasing number of its packages, according to a person familiar with the matter. Wal-Mart closed 269 stores earlier this year.

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