It’s been a long time coming for department stores, which have struggled to modernize and add value to their brick-and-mortar chains in a fiercely competitive retail landscape — now made even more challenging by the coronavirus pandemic.
As more consumers demand convenience and contactless options, Belk has become the latest retailer to announce the launch of same-day delivery. It’s the newest offering by the Charlotte-based business in a bid to expand its omnichannel presence while providing a contactless experience as the COVID-19 health crisis remains a reality in the United States. (The company currently operates nearly 300 stores in 16 states in the southeastern U.S., as well as at Belk.com and through its mobile app.)
Through the service, shoppers who place orders on Belk’s e-commerce site before 2 p.m. ET can have their purchases delivered directly to their doorsteps by 9 p.m. ET that same day. Orders placed after 2 p.m. ET will be delivered the following day. Same-day delivery is available for select merchandise, costing customers $9.95 on orders more than $49 and $14.95 on orders under that threshold.
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“We’ve been steadily expanding our e-commerce options to ensure our customers can shop whenever, wherever and however it best fits their life,” CEO Lisa Harper said in a statement. “Adding a same-day delivery option is one of the ways we are adapting our 133-year-old company to meet the needs of our modern customer, all while still providing the same quality and fashion that they rely on.”
Belk joins the growing list of retailers — including Macy’s, Target, Kohl’s and Walmart — that are adding some form of same-day fulfillment service to their service offerings. What’s more, Belk early this year launched its curbside pickup service to give shoppers the option to buy products online and pick them up at their local stores without the need to risk infection through interaction with others. (Customers receive an additional 10% off of orders made via curbside pickup.)
According to an August 2020 analysis by Coresight Research, 38 of the top 50 store-based U.S. retailers now offer a curbside pickup option, and the advisory firm expects this share to continue to grow, particularly ahead of the critical holiday shopping season.