Macy's on Wednesday announced that starting Oct. 1, same-day delivery will be available in 30 markets nationwide on orders of $75 or more, without the company's usual $8 fee. The department store said in an email to Retail Dive that the pilot will last for a limited time, the duration yet to be determined.
Same-day delivery of online orders at Macy's and Bloomingdale's was first launched in 2014, and offered in 33 markets by 2017. Macy's Chief Product and Digital Revenue Officer Jill Ramsey unveiled the new initiative at the WWD Digital Summit, according to the email.
Customers who choose same-day delivery at checkout on qualifying orders placed by noon local time Monday through Saturday or 10 a.m. local time on Sunday, will receive items the same day. Orders placed after the cut-off times will be delivered the following day.
Amazon's move toward one-day delivery for Prime members may have spurred Macy's to drop the $8 fee it usually charges for same-day delivery.
Perhaps in a subtle dig at Amazon's offer (which is available only to Prime customers who pay $119 per year), Macy's on Wednesday emphasized that its new service "makes Macy's the first department store to offer the program without requiring a membership fee."
For its speedy delivery services, the company has continued to partner with crowd-sourced last-mile delivery service Deliv, according to a Macy's spokesperson. In a statement, Ramsey said that much has been learned from those operations.
"Over the last two years, we have made significant investments in new technology in our stores and on our website that have given us the ability to better serve our customer's needs wherever, whenever and however they want to shop with us," she said.
The free service appears to be timed for the holiday season, and could end in any market "at Macy's sole discretion," the company said. It could be a crucial differentiator. Consulting firm Deloitte this week forecast holiday sales to rise as much as 5% from last year, but there will be winners and losers.
Rod Sides, vice chairman at Deloitte LLP and U.S. retail and distribution sector leader, called out "convenience" as "the new retail currency," and said that retailers offering "seamless experiences," ample inventory and speedy fulfillment "are most likely to win this holiday season."
Once the free limited-time offer ends, same-day delivery "will revert to its original qualifiers — items eligible for the service with purchases totaling $75 or more can be delivered same day for an $8 fee," Macy's said.
Markets with free same-day delivery include Atlanta; Austin, Texas; Boston; Charlotte, North Carolina; Chicago; Cincinnati and Columbus, Ohio; Dallas; Denver; Grand Rapids, Michigan; Houston; Kansas City, Missouri; Las Vegas; Los Angeles; Miami; Minneapolis / St. Paul; New Jersey; New York City; Orange County, California; Orlando, Florida; Philadelphia; Phoenix; Pittsburgh; Sacramento, California; San Antonio; San Diego; San Francisco; San Jose, California; Seattle; Tampa, Florida; and Washington, D.C.