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Target will launch unlimited rush shipping subscription to rival Amazon Prime



Target is launching Target Circle 360, a $99 annual subscription that will offer free, unlimited delivery and rush shipping on online orders. First announced during Target’s earnings call on Tuesday, the new plan will rival similar offerings by Walmart and Amazon that axe shipping costs for an annual fee. Target Circle 360 members will receive free two-day shipping and free same-day delivery on orders $35 and up. The plan will debut on Aprill 7, and will be priced at $49 until May 18 as a launch promotion. 

This isn’t Target’s first entry into paid subscriptions. In fact, Target Circle 360 doesn’t appear to be a new plan as much as a rebranding and upgrade of its current delivery offerings. Shipt, which is owned by Target, already offers free same-day delivery (with local delivery drivers) from nearby Target stores for $99 a year. Target.com also currently offers free two-day shipping for online orders of $35 and more, no subscription needed. The new Target Circle 360 plan appears to combine the Shipt membership and free two-day shipping — but no order minimums. So for Target lovers who already subscribe to Shipt, the new $99 plan won’t be too different. Target Circle 360 will also include access to the Shipt Marketplace, which means free delivery from other stores too. 

Target’s new plan arrives at a time when the lines between ecommerce and brick-and-mortar are blurrier than ever. Both Target and Walmart pull from nearby brick-and-mortar stores and warehouses for online orders. Meanwhile, Amazon’s vast network of warehouses and fulfillment centers means there’s always a delivery hub nearby. Amazon plans to build even more Same-Day Delivery sites this year, which can fulfill, sort, and ship products from one location. All three companies rely on both gig workers as well as large third-party delivery partners like UPS, Fedex, and USPS, which come with added labor and shipping costs. While Target won’t ever be able to compete with Prime on delivery, but it can still lure away some of its customers by offering a similar membership.

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