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Target ups the ante in online delivery wars

In this Nov. 16, 2018, photo an assembly line worker packages items from an online order to be shipped out of a Target store in Edison, N.J. Target is offering same-day delivery on thousands of items for $9.99 per order through a delivery startup it purchased nearly two years ago. (Julio Cortez / AP)
In this Nov. 16, 2018, photo an assembly line worker packages items from an online order to be shipped out of a Target store in Edison, N.J. Target is offering same-day delivery on thousands of items for $9.99 per order through a delivery startup it purchased nearly two years ago. (Julio Cortez / AP)
By Anne D’Innocenzio Associated Press

NEW YORK – How much would you be willing to pay to get those diapers within an hour or so?

In the latest salvo in the delivery wars, Target is offering same-day delivery on thousands of items for $9.99 per order through a delivery startup it purchased nearly two years ago.

Until now, Target shoppers looking to receive same-day delivery through Shipt had to go to the startup’s website and pay $99 for an annual membership or $14 for a monthly membership. Those options will be still be available, but the discounter is making it easier by incorporating the Shipt feature on its website.

Target says the same-day option will cover 65,000 items and it will be fulfilled in 1,500 of its 1,800 stores in 47 states. Shoppers using Target’s loyalty card will get a 5% discount.

Target’s move marks the latest effort by the Minneapolis-based discounter to expand same-day options. Customers can order online and pick up the purchases at any one of its stores. Shoppers can also pick up an online order curbside at 1,400 stores. For both options, Target says the orders are ready in an hour. At 25 stores in five markets, shoppers can pay a $7 flat delivery fee to have purchases bought at the store delivered to their homes.

Target’s moves come as Walmart and Amazon speed up their own online deliveries.

Last month, Walmart rolled out next-day delivery with a minimum order of $35 on its most popular items in certain cities. Amazon has upgraded its free shipping option to one-day delivery for Prime members who pay $119 a year.

Walmart also will be offering to have one of its employees deliver fresh groceries and put them in your refrigerator when you’re not home. The nation’s largest grocer said last week it will be offering the service this fall for more than 1 million customers in three cities: Pittsburgh; Kansas City, Missouri; and Vero Beach, Florida. Later this year, the service, called InHome Delivery, will also accept returns for items purchased on Walmart.com. The company plans to reveal the fee ahead of the launch. Amazon offers a similar service in certain cities, dropping off packages inside homes, garages or car trunks. But its service does not deliver groceries.

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