Target now offering free shipping for the holidays

Target said it will expand its order-ahead, drive-up pickup service to about 1,000 stores by the end of October. Consumers also can choose to pick up a pre-ordered item at their local store in an hour. (Photo courtesy of Wiki Commons)

Target is kicking off the holidays early with a gift to its customers.

Ther retailer will offer free two-day shipping, beginning November 1, on hundreds of thousands of items this holiday season with no minimum purchase, the company announced, putting the retailer in direct competition with subscription model Amazon Prime. Target (NYSE:TGT) also offers same-day delivery service via Shipt in 46 states with delivery in as little as one hour, writes Anne Stych for the Philadelphia Business Journal.

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But Target is only a growing pool of retailers who are upping its shipping game.

Amazon Prime members, who pay a $119 annual fee, receive free two-day shipping to nearly any U.S. address on most items sold by or fulfilled by Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN). Some items are also eligible for free same-day or two-hour delivery. Amazon Prime membership also includes music and video streaming along with other services.

Sam’s Club announced earlier this week it would launch same-day delivery for both members and non-members via Instacart by the end of October. Customers at nearly 350 Sam’s Club locations – including those in New Jersey – will be able to order food and groceries as well as small appliances through the company’s website for delivery in as little as an hour.

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