Retailers are offering promotions and ramping up their delivery game to cope with both a shorter holiday retail season this year and competition from Amazon.com.
Thanksgiving Day, which traditionally marks the start of the holiday shopping season, falls on Nov. 28 this year, a week later than last year. Adding to the pressure, Amazon.com is expanding its one-day shipping service, which it launched in June, and is planning to offer same-day shipping at some point.
Target is providing free next-day delivery and a drive-up service that enables shoppers to order using an app and then to get the merchandise delivered to their car within two hours
The holiday shopping period can generate about 40 percent of retailers’ annual sales.
“It’s a very compressed holiday season,” said Target Corp. CEO Brian Cornell, as reported in Reuters. “Every day counts.”
This year Target is providing Drive Up, a service by which shoppers order through the Target app, have the merchandise ready within the hour and then get it brought out to their cars within two minutes of their arrival. Target is also offering free shipping with no minimum purchase amount, as well as same-day delivery services.
Best Buy, for its part, is providing free next-day delivery, while Walmart is doing the same on orders over $35 without charging any membership fee, Reuters notes.
By Edmund Mander