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Amazon Offers Free Shipping With No Minimum Purchase

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Amazon.com Inc. (AMZN) said Monday it is offering free shipping with no minimum purchase amount on orders for the first time this holiday season.

The company's announcement heats up the competition for online holiday shoppers and comes just days after rival Target Corp. (TGT) said it is offering a free holiday shipping program with no minimum purchase and no membership required, beginning November 1.

The Amazon offer is available to all its customers in the U.S., starting Monday, November 5, and for a limited time, "for orders that will arrive in time for the Christmas holiday," the company said.

The offer will waive the $25 minimum order threshold required for customers who were not Amazon Prime members. It applies to hundreds of millions of items.

In addition, Amazon's Prime members can shop with free same-day delivery, now available on more than three million items, including gifts like toys and electronics, as well as home and fashion.

The offer is on top of the unlimited free two-day shipping that Prime members enjoy every day on more than 100 million items, with no minimum purchase amount all year.

Prime members can place an order in the morning and receive eligible same-day orders before bedtime that very same day, seven days a week, including Sunday.

In addition, Prime members can shop groceries from Whole Foods Market through Prime Now in as little as an hour in 60 cities, and grocery pickup in as little as thirty minutes in select cities.

Beyond groceries, Prime members can use Prime Now to get one- and two-hour delivery on tens of thousands of items across dozens of categories in 30 major cities.

The National Retail Federation or NRF has said it expects holiday retail sales in November and December 2018, excluding automobiles, gasoline and restaurants, to increase between 4.3 and 4.8 percent over 2017 for a total of $717.45 billion to $720.89 billion.

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