Amazon has begun rolling out free next-day delivery for Prime users, upping the ante in its ongoing delivery game with Walmart.
The internet giant said Monday that more than 10 million items are now eligible for one-day delivery across the US, with no minimum purchase.
Free one-day delivery will first roll out in North America, but it’s expected to expand to other countries in the future.
Amazon sent retailers scrambling when it first introduced two-day shipping in 2005.
Similarly, Amazon announced in its latest quarterly earnings that it intended to spend $800 million in the quarter to expand one-day free shipping for Prime members.
Prime members pay $119 a year for the subscription service.
Not long after, Walmart said it would launch next-day shipping for 220,000 popular items on orders over $35.
Amazon’s one-day delivery service has already eclipsed Walmart’s, with over 10 million items covered by the program and with no minimum purchase amount required.
‘Today, the most popular one-day items range from books, beauty and baby wipes to devices, dish detergent and doggie bags,’ Amazon said in a statement.
‘In other words, Prime Free One Day is already 10 times larger than the original two-day offering launched in 2005.
‘But we will keep adding more selection and expanding our delivery areas to ensure Prime members get their products faster than ever. Prime members will find that more and more items are being delivered in just one day,’ the firm added.
In April, Amazon said it ‘significantly expanded’ one-day delivery selection and it’s still adding new items and areas in the meantime.
Amazon has also expanded its same-day delivery service, Prime Now, in recent months.
Prime Now, which is available in 44 metropolitan areas, offers delivery within hours for a range of items.
Amazon said it’s able to offer one-day and same-day delivery as a result of its robust logistics network.
It now includes 110 fulfillment centers, 40 package sortation centers, 100 delivery stations and several Amazon Air cargo planes.
‘This allows Amazon to work smarter based on decades of process improvement and innovation, and to deliver orders faster and more efficiently,’ the firm said.
Amazon’s move into one-day delivery has already drawn the ire of leaders of a major labor union.
Stuart Applebaum, president of the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union, told CNN that next-day delivery has the potential to make warehouse workers’ lives dangerous.
Many employees currently scramble to keep up with 200 to 300 orders per hour during a 12-hour shift, he added.
In response, an Amazon executive told CNN that the criticisms were ‘misguided’ and intended to ‘spout falsehoods.’
‘We appreciate [Applebaum’s] concern for our associates but his concern is misguided and self-serving,’ Dave Clark, senior vice president of worldwide operations, told CNN.