SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Macy’s Inc said on Monday the department store chain will expand same day delivery services to nine cities and metropolitan areas this month, pushing into an aggressive field dominated by e-commerce giant Amazon.com Inc.
Macy’s, the nation’s largest department store chain, said it will now offer same day delivery to customers in 17 markets including Atlanta, Boston and Las Vegas using Deliv, an Uber-like startup that uses a fleet of contract drivers to pick up online orders from stores and malls. The company also said its high-end Bloomingdale’s chain will expand fast delivery.
“When we piloted same-day delivery in eight markets initially last fall, we learned that our customers appreciate the additional option of having their purchase brought to their home or office in a matter of hours,” said R. B. Harrison, the chief omnichannel officer at Macy’s in an emailed statement. The retailer did not disclose how many items it will make available for fast delivery.
Macy’s expansion comes as the “last mile” – the final portion of a package’s journey that takes it from a retailer’s warehouse or store to the customer’s front door – quickly turns into a new battleground for companies trying to increase online orders. But analysts and logistic experts warn that offering faster delivery comes at a significant cost to retailers.
Amazon, which revolutionized retail by offering faster and increasingly free deliveries for millions of online orders, provides same day delivery in 14 metro areas across the country.
The online retailer is also pushing to expand one-hour and two-hour deliveries for Amazon Prime members.
Brick and mortar retailers like Macy’s have one possible advantage over Amazon in that it has nearly 900 stores in the U.S. to source products for delivery – meaning the packages often have less distance to travel – against 50 fulfilment centers and smaller distribution facilities run by Amazon.
LaserShip, an Amazon contractor based in Virginia, announced it would expand e-commerce delivery to five new areas including Michigan and Kentucky last week, citing increasing demand for same day shipping options for online shoppers.
“Speed is continuing to be the driving force and what everyone wants is fast and free shipping,” said Josh Dinneen, a senior vice president for LaserShip, which specializes in last mile deliveries on the East Coast.
(Reporting by Mari Saito; Editing by Bernard Orr)