Target, Walmart Turn Up Heat on Last-Minute Holiday Ordering

Target’s new last-minute delivery deals and deadlines for holiday gifts has it going head-to-head with Walmart over whose fulfillment is faster and more accommodating for shoppers.

Walmart extended free next-day delivery from groceries to select general merchandise back in May. For the holidays, hundreds of thousands of eligible items qualify for next day delivery without a membership fee on orders of $35 or more.

Target upped the ante this week by offering same-day delivery nationwide through Christmas Eve. The shipping is free on orders of $35 or more for shoppers with a Shipt membership, or a trial membership. Other customers can get same-day service for $9.99 per order.

Both retail giants offer free two-day shipping, but Walmart has the edge in guaranteed delivery by Christmas for ultra-last-minute shoppers. Target’s ordering cutoff on eligible items is 12 p.m. CT on Dec. 20. Walmart says orders received by 11 a.m. PT on Dec. 22 will arrive in time.

The edge for buy online, pickup in store (BOPIS) goes to Target. Most items ordered online or through the Target app are ready for BOPIS or drive-up delivery within an hour, and orders can be placed up to two hours before stores close. Walmart same-day pickup orders must be in by 4 p.m. and will be ready within four hours of receipt. Drive up pickup is only available for groceries.

Target also edges Walmart on extended holiday hours. Through Dec. 23, Target stores are open 7 a.m. to midnight, and until 10 p.m. on Christmas Eve. Walmart stores are open 7 a.m. to 10 or 11 p.m., depending on location, and typically open until 6 p.m. on Christmas Eve. Walmart Supercenters, however, are open 24 hours.

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