Target offers 2-day shipping with no minimums for holiday

NEW YORK — Target will be offering for the first time two-day shipping with no minimum purchase this holiday, raising the stakes in the delivery wars during the busiest shopping season of the year.

The offer, announced Tuesday, will start Nov. 1 and end Dec. 22. It's part of the retailer's overall strategy to bolster its delivery services from curbside pickup to same-day delivery for customers as it competes with such rivals as Walmart and online leader Amazon.

The move comes as the Minneapolis-based retailer has been reporting strong sales growth both at stores and online, helped in part by its online delivery services as well as its efforts to remodel stores.

"Our approach this holiday is to make it easier for our guests," Brian Cornell, CEO of Target told reporters at a holiday briefing in Manhattan.

With last year's $550 million acquisition of delivery service Shipt, Target has expanded its same-day delivery of groceries and other merchandise to 200 markets, up from 160 markets in August. It's also expanding its curbside pickup service to nearly 1,000 stores by the end of this month, ahead of schedule.

Target has been a laggard when it comes to two-day delivery.

In January 2017, Walmart began offering two-day shipping for online purchases over $35 on millions of frequently purchased items like household essentials. And with its annual Prime membership of $119, Amazon customers receive two-day shipping, along with other perks like movie and music streaming services.

In previous holiday seasons, Target had waived the shipping fee and offered free shipping but there was no time frame. In March, it announced two-day shipping on hundreds of thousands of items for shoppers who spend $35 or more.