After making over its Clearwater store as part of a company-wide strategy to modernize its brand, Macy’s announced on Tuesday it would begin same-day delivery in Tampa Bay and more than 20 other markets starting Oct. 1.
The same-day service is free — for now — without an added membership fee, an obvious jab at retail behemoth Amazon. Amazon has led the delivery space for years, winning over shoppers with an $119 yearly Prime membership that removes shipping fees on millions of goods, among other perks.
Macy’s said it will eventually add an $8 delivery fee for the same-day service, but did not specify when. It launched the free pilot to coincide with its upcoming Columbus Day sale.
“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," Macy’s chief product and digital revenue officer Jill Ramsey said in a statement.
Traditional retailers creating the logistics to get items directly to shoppers’ homes within even two days is a costly endeavor. Industry experts say getting items those last few miles to an individual home — rather than a warehouse or store — is the most costly part of rise of online shopping.
The entire delivery system built around those last miles is expected to be worth $2.6 billion by 2027, according to ResearchandMarkets.com
Macy’s first tested same-day delivery in 2014, but in just five markets and with a limited number of products. The department store says it updated its online infrastructure to handle thousands more items while streamlining the way customers can order online to pick up in store.
Macy’s said starting in October, shoppers will notice a free same-day delivery icon on available items. Shoppers must order at least $75 worth of goods. Orders placed before noon Monday through Saturday and 10 a.m. on Sunday will arrive that day. Orders placed after the cut-off will arrive the following day.
Amazon’s Prime members are used to quick and sometimes same-day delivery — whether it be for Whole Foods groceries or headphones from a nearby warehouse.
Target offers same-day delivery for an added $9.99 through Shipt, which also handles its grocery delivery. And Walmart has next-day delivery available for shoppers, fee-free, for orders of more than $35. It also has a separate grocery delivery service, which can be planned same-day.
Kohl’s, which has started accepting Amazon returns to increase foot traffic, doesn’t yet offer same-day delivery in Tampa Bay but does in 14 other markets.
Macy’s says its the first department store to offer free same-day shipping — even if it’s just for a limited time.