The shipping wars are intensifying.Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and Amazon Inc. have been battling over the fees they charge consumers for shipping to their homes, with each trying to see how low they can go.Amazon fired the latest salvo across Wal-Mart's bow. Less than three months after Amazon reduced its order minimum for free shipping to $35, in an effort to stave off Wal-Mart’s identically priced shipping policy, the online behemoth has quietly lowered the threshold for free shipping to $25. However, it will take five to eight business days for products to be delivered.Amazon in February 2016 raised its free shipping threshold for non-Prime members to $49. Wal-Mart appeared to have the advantage in January, when it scrapped its $49 Shipping Pass membership fee, replacing it with free two-day shipping for $35 on any order of eligible items, while shipping to stores is free. Previously, the threshold was $50. The Bentonville, Ark.-based retailer bested Amazon's three- to five-day delivery window for Prime.Online shoppers in studies say the cost of shipping is a pain point in their online experience. Target doesn't charge shipping fees for orders of $25 or more, while Nordstrom has eliminated shipping charges entirely. But retailers that rush to lower or eliminate shipping charges pay a price in profitability."Shopping costs are important but so is convenience," said Carol Spieckerman, founder of Spieckerman Retail. "Amazon and Wal-Mart need to balance both. In some scenarios, convenience is actually more important, so focusing on price only can drive margins down without winning the sale in the end.
"The key will be to offer options that address convenience and price without adding unnecessary complexity," Spieckerman said. "Convoluted shopping and pricing schemes are off-putting to shoppers. Amazon is clearly watching and reacting to Wal-Mart — and Wal-Mart isn't just playing defense. Wal-Mart's ongoing challenge will be to offer a clear and compelling alternative to Amazon Prime."
“I grew up in New York but I hadn’t really experienced the city in any type of touristy way…This was probably the first museum I really explored and took the time to see,” said @haileybaldwin of the @whitneymuseum. On Tuesday night, Baldwin was joined by Jemima Kirke and more at the annual Whitney Museum Gala and Studio Party, which honored Lorna Simpson, Joanne Leonhardt Cassullo and Beth Rudin DeWoody. See more photos on WWD.com. #wwdeye (📷: @lexieblacklock)
Displayed starting this week at the @fashiontextilemuseum: An exhibition on designer @orlakiely titled “Orla Kiely: A Life in Pattern,” which spans two decades and contains more than 150 pieces. “I want people to come away loving pattern and print. It’s something that makes you feel so good,” said the designer during a preview of the exhibit. Also on show are mood boards, samples, sketches and more. Head to WWD.com to see more photos. #wwdfashion
Exclusive: @dsquared2 signs fragrance licensing agreement with Euroitalia, with the first effort of the new partnership being unveiled in September. The brand will launch two scents – one for men and one for women – in Italy. Read our interview with designer Dean and Dan Caten on WWD.com. #wwdbeauty #wwdnews (📷: @zefashioninsider)
@louisvuitton has officially renewed Nicolas Ghesquière’s contract as artistic director of women's collections. "I am very pleased to open the next chapter of the story I started with Louis Vuitton almost 5 years ago," said Ghesquière, who first signed on to design the French luxury brand's women's line in 2013. Get all the details on WWD.com. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @giovanni_giannoni_photo)
“I learned then and there that I had to figure out a way in life to maintain and preserve my sense of pride when I felt good about what I did or what I represented or created,” said @saintrecords on how being bullied for wearing capri pants inspired her to be the artist she is today. Knowles was at the 70th Parsons Benefit last night where she outbid the room for a Dapper Dan customized @gucci experience. #wwdeye (📷: @lexieblacklock)
“There’s this amazing braintrust of people who know the whole universe so well. So we talked to them and they gave us more input,” said actor Alden Ehrenreich on playing the young Han Solo in “Solo: A Star Wars Story.” The cast was at NYC’s SVA Theatre last night for an advanced screening of the film, which hits theaters this week. #wwdeye #starwars #hansolo (📷: @aurorarosedecrosta)
@asaprocky spent nearly two hours in a Plexiglas box Sunday night at @sothebys putting himself through a series of “tests” to demonstrate the process of completing his new album called “Testing.” Get all the details and see all the pictures on WWD.com. #wwdeye
“I’ve struggled my whole life to find a bathing suit that fits me that doesn’t look like a maternity bra. I’m proud of the line because it’s an accurate representation of me rather than me putting on someone else’s clothes,” says @atlantabean of her swimwear collaboration with @piaarrobio, LPA X ATL. The two decided on a swimwear collab and increased the industry standard size for the pieces. Read more about the line — and our interview with de Cadenet Taylor and Arrobio — on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: Dan Doperalski)