Skip to navigationSkip to content

Macy’s is taking on Amazon in the race for same-day delivery

American Pharoah wins the Belmont Stakes
AP Photo/Frank Franklin II
These days, retailers gotta to pay to play.
By Gabriel Fisher
Published Last updated This article is more than 2 years old.

In the cut-throat American retail world, same-day delivery has become the table stakes needed to stay in the game. Amazon, which has long led the pack on quick and free shipping, upped the ante in May by offering same-day shipping in 14 American cities.

Now Macy’s, the largest department store chain in the US, is doing its best to keep up. The company announced that it’s expanding same-day shipping to 17 US cities, including New York City and Honolulu, Hawaii (it already offers same-day shipping in eight US cities).

The company’s 900 stores across the US play to its advantage, allowing Macy’s to ship its orders from short distances to customers. Amazon, by comparison, has to operate from 50 gigantic fulfillment centers, making the logistics of same-day shipping slightly more cumbersome.

Still, Amazon’s shipping subscriptions likely breed more loyalty. Macy’s said it will continue to charge an additional $5 rate for same-day delivery on top of preexisting shipping costs. Amazon offers free same-day delivery for orders of more than $35 from Amazon Prime users, who pay a $99 annual fee for the service. Non-Prime Amazon customers can use the same-day delivery for an additional $8.99.

As part of the push, Macy’s said it will partner with the startup Deliv, an Uber-like company that allows people to sign up as drivers for its delivery service. That plan looks slightly rudimentary than Amazon’s logistical vision: to create a fleet of delivery drones that will zoom across the skies fulfilling customer orders.

📬 Kick off each morning with coffee and the Daily Brief (BYO coffee).

By providing your email, you agree to the Quartz Privacy Policy.