Target is launching same-day delivery to take on Amazon -- here's where you can try it first

TargetA Shipt shopper shopping at Target.
  • Target is launching its first same-day delivery services in the wake of its acquisition of Shipt.
  • 57 stores in across Alabama and South Florida will get it first, on February 1.
  • The plan is to have the service available in half of Target’s 1,834 stores by the end of first quarter 2018, and in a majority of locations by the time the holidays hit.

Shipt is hitting Target.

Shipt’s same day shipping will be available for customers its first 57 Target stores in Birmingham, Alabama and South Florida on February 1.

Target acquired the service in December for $US550 million. Later in February, Target’s website said that Shipt’s service will expand to areas of Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee.

Target says it plans to expand the service to half of all its 1,834 stores by the end of the first quarter, and in nearly all of its stores by the 2018 holiday season. If it gets there, it will be the first nationwide retailer to offer same day delivery in all major markets.

In December, the company said that same-day delivery will for now be limited to “groceries, essentials, home, electronics, and other products,” but Target plans to expand it to every product category in 2019.

Though Shipt will be a wholly owned Target subsidiary, it will still operate like a retail partner. Its employees will shop at Target stores – not warehouses – for delivery purposes, the way they do for other retailers.

Shipt requires a $US99-a-year membership for unlimited free deliveries in as little as one hour. The current minimum for Shipt orders is $US35, which matches Target.com’s threshold for free shipping.

Shipt operates in 72 US cities, but it is likely to expand rapidly with Target’s help.

Same-day delivery is increasingly becoming the battlefield for retailers fighting to be most convenient for customers. Walmart has ramped up its same-day-delivery prowess with its acquisition of New York City-based Parcel. Best Buy also expanded its same-day-delivery program and reduced its cost. Amazon offers same-day delivery through its Prime Now program.

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