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Target expands free shipping

Target announced Monday that it will offer free shipping to customers who order $25 or more in merchandise online, a move that puts it in direct competition with Amazon, which has a $35 free shipping limit. 

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    A sign for a Target store in the Chicago suburb of Evanston, Ill. The second-largest retailer in the United States announced Monday, Feb. 23, 2015 that it is expanding its free shipping for online shoppers.
    Jim Young/Reuters/File
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Watch out, Amazon. Target is offering free shipping to more online shoppers.

Target, the second-largest retailer in the United States, announced Monday that it is offering free shipping for customers who order $25 or more worth of merchandise from its website.

That’s down from $50 and comes on the heels of what the company says was a record holiday season for Internet sales.

“We saw an enthusiastic response to our free shipping offer over the holidays,” Jason Goldberger, president of Target.com and mobile sales, said in a news release. “Now, whether guests are stocking up or doing fill-in shopping, we’ve enhanced our year-round shipping offer to be one of the best in all of retail.”

The company says Target.com set new sales records on Thanksgiving and Black Friday last year and that mobile accounted for 60% of traffic to the site.

For years, Amazon had offered free shipping on orders of $25 and up. But, in 2013, the Web-shopping titan increased that threshold to $35 for customers who aren’t Amazon Prime members.

As digital sales, particularly via mobile, continue to supplant brick-and-mortar browsing, Target has made Web sales a bigger priority. Late last year, the company began shipping online orders from select retail stores instead of a centralized warehouse — a move it says speeded up delivery times.

This year, it plans to open two new online-fulfillment stores – in Memphis, Tennessee, and York, Pennsylvania.

The Target release said the $25 free-shipping threshold is available with “virtually no exclusions,” but did not specify what those exclusions might be. Target’s website saysthere is a fee for shipping some oversize items.

Discount-store rival Walmart offers free shipping on orders of $50 or more.

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