The retailer will enable Target.com shoppers in 47 states to receive roughly 65,000 items in as soon as an hour for a $9.99 flat fee.

Target Corp. on Thursday unleashed the latest salvo in an ongoing battle among large retailers to offer online shoppers quick deliveries of their online orders.

The retailer, No. 16 in the Internet Retailer 2019 Top 1000, announced that it will enable Target.com shoppers in 47 states to receive roughly 65,000 items in as soon as an hour for a $9.99 flat fee. It is using Shipt, the delivery service it bought in 2017, to fulfill the orders.

While Target previously offered same-day delivery to members of its Shipt delivery service program, which costs $99 per year, it is now expanding the option to a wider audience by allowing shoppers to choose same-day delivery on an order-by-order basis rather than requiring them to sign up for an annual membership. It also launched a dedicated section of Target.com, Target.com/sameday, which features the eligible items.

“With same-day delivery now available directly within the Target.com experience, we’ve made it even easier for our guests to shop at Target—while still getting the great value, curated product assortment and helpful guest service they’ve come to expect,” says Dawn Block, senior vice president, digital.

Target’s announcement is the latest in a series of recent moves by large retailers to deliver consumers’ orders as quickly as possible. Walmart Inc., No. 3, last month announced plans to roll out a free next-day delivery on as many as 220,000 items to shoppers in Phoenix, Las Vegas and Southern California, to shoppers who buy at least $35 worth of goods, with plans to expand the service to about 75% of the U.S. market by the end of the year. And Amazon.com Inc., No. 1, in April announced plans to transform Prime into a one-day free shipping offer. Prime has an annual fee of $119, although Amazon offers select groups discounted rates and also lets shoppers pay monthly.

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Target’s move aligns it with consumers’ growing expectations, says Arpit Jain, vice president of cross-functional delivery and capabilities at the consultancy Nerdery. “One-day delivery, or less, is becoming the new customer expectation,” he says. “While Target’s same-day delivery comes at a price, it won’t be long before the industry expectation is for it to be free. Retailers need to be hyper-focused on removing friction from the purchasing experience, which means customers should be able to receive products when they want for no additional charge.”

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