NEW YORK (AP)Some of U.S. largest retailers are working to increase their shipping speed to please holiday shoppers who expect faster delivery.

Amazon, Target and Walmart are "all-in" on the shipping war, a move retail experts say will help them maintain a competitive edge.

For Target and Walmart, investment also is aimed at narrowing the gap in delivery speed with Amazon.

Amazon packages have been arriving at the doors of Prime customers even faster in 2023 under the company’s new distribution model, which separates the country into eight regions and ships items primarily from warehouses in those areas.

Previously, the Seattle-based e-commerce giant used to fulfill orders from warehouses throughout  the country. In July, it said 76% of customer orders were being fulfilled within their region, up from 62% before the change.

In response, Target and Walmart have been pouring money into warehouse upgrades, new facilities and other efforts they say will trim expense.

Walmart uses more than 4,000 of its stores across the country as fulfillment centers and delivery hubs for online orders.

Target is aiming to increase its shipping speed by augmenting its own warehouses, called sortation centers, with a $100 million investment announced earlier this year.

Sorting centers receive packages for online orders from 30 to 40 surrounding Target stores that are sorted, batched and routed for delivery to local neighborhoods by a third-party carrier or Shipt, which Target owns. The warehouses are expected to double their delivery volume to more than 50 million packages this year, with a growing number of items delivered to customers the next day.

Jason Goldberg, chief commerce strategy officer at the advertising giant Publicis, noted that Amazon has far more warehouse space and trucks than Target and Walmart. He said even if both Target and Walmart were to add a significant number of delivery hubs, they still won’t be able to rival Amazon.

“It’s almost hard to imagine you could ever catch up with Amazon’s model,” Goldberg added.

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