For the decade and a half that I lived, mostly car-free, in Boston as an adult, the number one weekly chore that I dreaded was schlepping heavy essentials home from the store by foot, subway, or (when the snow was thigh deep) splurging on a taxi or ZipCar. Laundry detergent, dog food, and 2-liters of soda water were relegated to a pro/con equation of actual need versus relative sweat equity or Seinfeld-level griping — an algorithm any urbanite knows well. Now, at least in five major cities, Target wants to ease our literal burden. But carrying them up to your fourth-floor walkup is still up to you, sorry.
Earlier this week, Target announced that 60 of its stores in NYC, San Francisco, Boston, Chicago, and Washington D.C. will now be offering same-day delivery for in-store purchases — and for the low, low flat fee of just $7. Just head to Target as usual, buy the things you came for and that other $100 worth of shiny, schedule your two-hour window for delivery, and go about your other errands au pied and unencumbered until your bags are scheduled to arrive at your stoop. (Yes, even furniture — though oversized items may incur an additional $25 fee).
After a successful pilot program in four New York City stores last year, Target announced the delivery expansion on Monday along with several other more expedited shopping options. The bullseye is now offering free two-day shipping on "hundreds of thousands of items" from Target.com, is expanding its drive-up service, and using Shipt (which it acquired in December) to make same-day online deliveries a reality by the end of the year.
While none of us probably needed a reason to shop Target more often, the announcements do fall in line with analyst predictions that the brick-and-mortar retail giant may soon merge with Amazon — and if not, they at least have to continue trying to compete with it on every level.