Macy's finally joined the ranks of national chain stores offering free shipping on items purchased at their online store. Starting today, there is free shipping on all purchases over $99. Beauty purchases receive free standard shipping if customers spend $50 or more, and all other purchases can be shipped for a flat rate of $8.
While Macy's touts that they are one of a select few national retailers to offer free shipping within the United States in a recent press release, several other retailers already offer free shipping -- but require a lower minimum purchase.
The Gap stores (including Banana Republic, Old Navy, and Athleta) offer free shipping every day with purchases of $50 or more, and Piperlime offers free shipping and free returns with no minimum purchase required. Sephora gives free shipping on purchases of $50 or more and offers free returns and three free beauty samples with each online order. Though not valid on every item, Target's "Bullseye Free Shipping" program encompasses more than a half-million items that are eligible for free shipping on purchases of $50 or more.
Jewelry stores also seem to follow an industry standard of providing free shipping. Bluenile and ice.com both grant free shipping on every order with no minimum purchase requirement. Walmart appears to be the only comprehensive retailer to give free shipping without a minimum requirement or annual fee with its "Site to Store" policy, which ships items for free to a FedEx store, but not all items are eligible.
Online shopping behemoth Amazon.com not only provides free Super Saver Shipping on purchases of $25, but gives customers the option of joining Amazon Prime. For a flat rate of $79 per year, Amazon Prime entitles members to receive free two-day shipping on all purchases and one-day shipping for an additional $3.99 per item. Sears offers a very similar program to Amazon called the Sears ShipVantage program. For a yearly fee of $79, all items ship for free via standard shipping and for an additional $0.99 or $3.99 per item, orders can be expedited or upgraded to premium shipping.
Of course, there are many chain retailers that still do not offer everyday free shipping, like Kohl's and JCPenney, which only provide free shipping (with a minimum purchase) when a coupon code is used. However, instituting a $100 minimum purchase to receive free standard shipping is not so high in comparison to luxury retail stores like Nordstrom and Bloomingdale's, which only provide free shipping with minimum orders of $200 and $300, respectively.
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