February 27, 2013, 10:19 AM

Shutl will roll out same-day delivery in 20 North American cities

The London-based company will deliver online orders fulfilled from stores.

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After learning how do to offer same-day delivery in the United Kingdom, London-based Shutl is ready to begin rolling out its service for retail chains in the United States and Canada, says founder and CEO Tom Allason.

Shutl plans to begin offering same-day delivery services next month for three retailers in New York, Chicago and San Francisco. After that, the service will roll out to 15 more metropolitan areas in the United States and two in Canada—a total of 20 slated for now, with more planned over the long term, Allason says.

Although he declines to name the participating retailers, he says they’re all large chains, each with at least $1 billion in annual online sales, including at least one department store chain and one fashion apparel retailer. A common characteristic of each participating retailer, he adds, is that they all have experience in offering in-store pickup of online orders.

Shutl has named Steven Chien, an e-commerce veteran, as vice president and general manager of its North American operations. Chien formerly worked as chief operating officer of social shopping site Kaboodle and vice president of business development for Nextag, a comparison shopping site.

As it does in 60 cities and towns in the U.K., Shutl will work with networks of courier companies in each city it serves in the United States and Canada. When a shopper within a covered metropolitan area places an order on a participating retailer’s web site, she’ll see Shutl’s same-day delivery service as an option. If she clicks to accept it, Shutl’s software—which it integrates with retailers’ inventory systems and couriers’ dispatching systems—checks the availability of products in the retailer’s closest stores, and assigns the delivery to the nearest courier. Individual couriers carry GPS-equipped mobile devices that let them see orders and call up delivery maps.

Shutl says its service is available 24/7, with deliveries available around the clock if a retailer has at least one store open 24 hours in a metro area. For late-night orders where no stores are open, shoppers can choose a delivery time within one-hour windows on the following day.

Shutl says the typical delivery fee to shoppers is $10 or less, though retailers are free to set their own prices. Shutl’s cost to retailers varies based on the size of the delivered product and the distance between a store and the customer.

After completing its rollout in New York, Chicago and San Francisco, Shutl plans to enter Atlanta, Boston, Dallas, Denver, Detroit, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, Minneapolis, Philadelphia, Phoenix, San Diego, Seattle, Tampa, Washington, Montreal and Toronto.

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