Earns Target

Employees make air pillows at a packaging station in the back room of a Target store in Edison, N.J.

HUNTINGTON — With six fewer days between Thanksgiving and Christmas than last year, some big-box stores have already announced free delivery during the holiday season in 2019.

This year, starting Nov. 1 through Dec. 21, Target shoppers can get thousands of items shipped for free, with no minimum purchase required. And bargain hunters will have their pick of 1,500 curated gifts, most of which will cost less than $15.

Target wasn’t alone in unveiling its holiday plans. Though Christmas is nearly two months away, retailers are already shifting into holiday mode, with Walmart, Best Buy and others making announcements about ramped-up delivery.

Walmart is gearing up for a shorter holiday shopping season by launching online deals earlier this year. Last week, the retail giant announced its plans to help consumers get an early start on purchasing gifts with new and expanded services, more exclusive toys and events including visits from Santa.

This year, Best Buy is attempting to making it easier — and faster — to get the tech on everyone’s wish lists.

According to a news release from Best Buy, about 99% of its customers get free next-day delivery on thousands of items.

“From tablets to headphones to espresso machines, tons of the most popular holiday items are included,” the release said.

However, it excludes some bigger and heavier things like big-screen TVs and refrigerators.

Best Buy added that for those who ordered something, or live somewhere where free next-day delivery isn’t available, they will still get free standard shipping on everything — all season long, and with no membership or minimum purchase required.

This year, “Free Shipping Day” will be Dec. 14, according to www.freeshippingday.com. On Free Shipping Day, thousands of online retailers, both large and small, offer free shipping and guarantee items by Christmas Eve.

To view a list of retailers participating in Free Shipping Day, visit www.freeshippingday.com.

Each year the number of stores participating in Free Shipping Day increases. Many stores announce their participation early, but quite a few jump in as the date grows near.

According to the annual National Retail Federation holiday survey, consumers will spend an average of $1,047, which is up 4% from last year. The survey also showed that 39% will start their holiday shopping in November.

Sales are projected to rise 3.8% in November and December to $727.9 billion, according to the survey. It also showed that 92% of consumers plan to take advantage of free shipping, 48% will use ship-to-store pickup services and 16% plan to use same-day delivery, which has doubled since 2015.

Follow reporter Fred Pace at Facebook.com/FredPaceHD and via Twitter @FredPaceHD.

Follow reporter Fred Pace at Facebook.com/FredPaceHD and via Twitter @FredPaceHD.

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