Walmart is taking on Amazon in one of the online giant’s signature categories — and undercutting it on price.
In a first for the discounter, Walmart is launching a catalog of e-books, available in stores and online. The service, WalmarteBooks, is being launched in partnership with Rakuten Kobo, the digital book division of Japan's top e-commerce company, Rakuten.
Customers will be able to subscribe to the chain’s new Walmart eBooks audiobook service for $9.99 per month, which includes one audiobook per month. The fee is cheaper than Amazon’s Audible audiobook service, whose subscriptions start at $14.95 per month.
Walmart customers will have access to Kobo's library of six million books, and a variety of Kobo e-readers, which will be available online and in store. Walmart eBooks will also be accessible through co-branded iOS and Android apps.
Customers will be able to purchase digital book cards in 3,500 Walmart stores. Nearly 40 titles will be offered.
To kick off the new offering, Walmart is offering new customers $10 off their first a la carte e-book or audiobook. And audiobook subscription customers can try the service free for 30 days.