What’s new for Amazon Prime members in North Texas:
- Prime Now: Members in Atlanta, Austin, Baltimore, Brooklyn, Dallas, Manhattan and Miami can choose from tens of thousands of everyday items for free two-hour delivery.
- Prime free same-day: Members in 14 metro areas, which includes more than 500 cities and towns, can order by noon and have that order delivered before bedtime. Members can choose from a broad selection of more than a million items, seven days a week – even Sunday.
- Prime free two-day: Prime members across the U.S. have unlimited free two-day shipping on more than 20 million items.
- Check for your ZIP code here
Like a poker game between two 800-pound gorillas, Amazon.com and Wal-Mart keep raising their bets to win your online business.
Amazon will announce Thursday that Prime members will get free, same-day delivery on purchases of $35 or more. Free shipping had been available only for two-day delivery.
Dallas-Fort Worth is one of 14 metro areas where Prime members can order from a list of more than 1 million items for same-day delivery, said Chris Rupp, vice president of Amazon Prime.
Order by noon, get it that evening.
The new service is in addition to Amazon’s one-hour and two-hour Prime Now delivery service, which has been available since March in North Texas on a limited number of convenience items.
Amazon’s upgrade comes as Walmart.com is about to begin testing a delivery subscription service this summer. It will cost $50 a year for unlimited deliveries in three days or less.
“We’re starting a closed beta test later this summer,” said Walmart.com spokesman Ravi Jariwala. It will initially be available by invitation only and in limited markets.
Wal-Mart has rebranded and upgraded its ship-to-store service. The pickup location has been moved to the front of new stores and is being moved to the front of newly remodeled stores.
Wal-Mart opened its first distribution center dedicated to filling online orders in September 2013 in Fort Worth. A second one opened in early 2014 in Bethlehem, Pa.
Amazon.com’s new Prime offer, which is part of its $99-a-year subscription, will be available in 80 local ZIP codes. (Check for your ZIP code here)
Asked whether the Prime upgrade is a response to Walmart.com’s plans, Rupp said, “We’re building out our delivery options.”
“We’re entirely focused on listening to our customer, and that’s why we’ve built 50 new fulfillment centers around the world in the last four years,” she said.
Rupp declined to comment on a fulfillment center in the works in southern Dallas. In April, Amazon requested a tax abatement as part of its plan to occupy a building under construction by Trammell Crow on the northwest corner of Interstates 45 and 20.
And Amazon is hiring again at its Haslet distribution center. This time the company said it needs to fill about 450 full-time positions on top of the 1,500 people who already work there. The local job openings are part of the 6,000 new fulfillment jobs that Amazon announced Tuesday.
The other cities where Amazon offers same-day service are Atlanta, Baltimore, Boston, Indianapolis, Los Angeles, New York, Philadelphia, Phoenix, San Francisco-Oakland, Seattle-Tacoma and Washington, D.C. It just added San Diego and Tampa.