May 28, 2014, 3:35 PM

Target aims to test same-day shipping

The mass merchant targets Minneapolis, Boston and Miami for a same-day shipping trial in June.

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Target Corp. has announced plans to test same-day delivery in three markets: Minneapolis, Boston and Miami.

The rush delivery service will allow consumers to order products as late as 1:30 p.m. and receive those orders between 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. The delivery charge will be $10 and the trial is expected to start in June, Target executives told analysts last week in a call to discuss financial results.

The three-market pilot follows testing with Target employees in Minneapolis. “Based on our team member response and the feedback that they gave us, I think that this will also resonate with our guests, so I'm really excited to see where that goes,” said Kathryn Tesija, chief merchandising and supply chain officer, on the call with investors according to a transcript from Seeking Alpha.

The mass merchant also plans to roll out standard shipping from 136 stores in 38 markets this year. “By leveraging the store network as fulfillment centers, we can offer faster, standard shipping, typically one to two days and provide access to store only items not previously available from Target.com,” said Tesija. “Later in the year, we plan to roll out standard across the country. We will continue to monitor results to determine further rollout plans.”

Target is one of several companies experimenting with same-day delivery of online orders. Amazon.com Inc. recently expanded its same-day delivery program to include San Francisco and Dallas, and bring its total number of markets to 12. EBay Inc., which acquired U.K. same-day delivery specialist Shutl last fall, is offering its eBay Now two-hour delivery service in parts of New York City, the San Francisco Bay area, Chicago and Dallas. Others experimenting with delivering orders the same day they’re placed include Google Inc. and Instacart, an online grocery delivery service.

Target also announced today a partnership with e-book subscription service Librify that enables consumers to buy, share and discuss books.

Librify started beta testing in March, and a full launch is still months away.

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