Walmart has announced a new program called Pickup Discount that will give Walmart.com customers a discount on their online purchases if they have those items shipped to a Walmart store for pickup.

The program will start April 19 with about 10,000 items eligible for the discount, and Walmart says the number of eligible items should balloon to over a million items by the end of June.

Walmart says the “last mile” of the delivery chain to customers’ doors is where the majority of shipping costs come from, so giving a discount to customers willing to pick up their items from Walmart stores makes sense for both Walmart and its customers.

What Walmart did not say, but may be implied, is that having a chain of physical stores allows it to do something that Amazon.com can not, due to Amazon’s lack of real-world locations. Will Walmart’s online prices be better than Amazon’s for those who choose to pick up their items? Will Amazon’s customers care, or is the home delivery worth it, even if it costs a little extra? Will Walmart gain online customers or merely train existing customers to pick up their items in store to get a lower price? It’s impossible to say, but it’s an interesting move from one of the few retailers that has the potential to go toe-to-toe with Amazon across the board.

— by Rebecca Anders Follow KM Credit Money on Twitter