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Staples rolls out same-day delivery for online orders

June 15, 2016 04:52 PM
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Staples Inc. launched a same-day delivery service this week for online orders in Boston, Dallas and Manhattan. The move is designed to complement the office supplies retailer’s omnichannel offerings, including buy online and pick up in store, and ship from store, by further tapping into store inventory, says Faisal Masud, executive vice president, global e-commerce.

Other metropolitan areas set for rollout by the end of this year include Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Seattle.

The service, dubbed Staples Rush, applies to eligible products ordered on Staples.com, by consumers or businesses, by 3 p.m. local time for delivery by 7 p.m. weekdays. A $14.99 fee applies to each order but could change during the rollout process.

Products eligible for rush orders will be limited to those available in stores and orders will be fulfilled by local stores, Masud says. The office supplies retailer will use its own fleet of trucks and cargo vans for the same-day service. Some exclusions apply, such as products weighing more than 70 lbs., clearance items, and liquid or hazardous material chemicals and cleaners.

Here’s how it works: Shoppers place products in the shopping cart and if it’s before 3 p.m. and all items in the cart qualify, shoppers will see that same-day shipping is available. After the purchase, buyers receive a confirmation email followed by a phone call from a delivery employee to confirm a delivery time or where the package can be left if the customer isn’t available.

Orders under $500 can be left, by prior arrangement with the delivery agent. If no one is available to accept the order and no prior arrangements are made, delivery personnel leave a door tag with instructions for rescheduling. Orders that can’t be rescheduled will be canceled and payment refunded, says Staples, No. 5 in the Internet Retailer 2016 Top 500 Guide.

Staples says it will add products and services, such as Copy & Print, to the same-day delivery program in coming months. Same-day delivery will roll out to customers served by Staples Business Advantage, its business-to-business division targeting medium and larger businesses, in the fourth quarter, Masud says. “Support from our fulfillment centers will be added as we bring the service to our Staples Advantage customers,” he says.

Staples’ recent proposed-merger-partner-turned-competitor Office Depot offers next-day delivery within established delivery areas for orders of $35 or more. Office Depot is No. 9 in the 2016 Top 500. In May, Staples and Office Depot called off their planned merger after a federal judge sided with U.S. antitrust officials who challenged the combination of the two largest office suppliers, saying the $6.3 billion deal would create an unrivaled giant. The court backed the Federal Trade Commission, which argued that uniting the national office supplies merchants would harm buyers. The retailers then decided not to appeal the judge’s order.

 

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