Macy’s Inc. today said it will relaunch on Oct. 1 same-day delivery in 30 markets nationwide. The service will be offered free for a limited time with qualifying purchases of $75 or more.

Same-day delivery will be available on thousands of eligible top-selling items across a range of categories, with inventory specific to each of the 30 mostly urban locations. To find eligible products, customers enter their zip code and filter search results by same-day delivery products. They build a bag with only those items, and unlock free shipping when the value of the bag reaches $75 or more.

The announcement was made at the WWD Digital Forum by Jill Ramsey, Macy’s chief product and digital revenue officer, during a conversation with Evan Clark, WWD deputy managing editor.

Ramsey said with the relaunch, Macy’s will become the first department store to offer same-day shipping without a membership fee.

The retailer in 2014 introduced same-day delivery on a limited selection of products in five markets. “It was hard to find on the web site,” Ramsey said. “It didn’t get a ton of traction. Over the last two years, we’ve made significant investments in new technology in our stores and on our web site that have given us the ability to better serve our customer’s needs.”

Enhanced technology infrastructure also powers Macy’s buy online, pick-up in store or buy online, ship to store, which also allow customers to purchase hundreds of thousands of items to receive the same day.

“If she can’t get to the store today, we’ll ship it to her,” Ramsey said. “We know same-day matters. Customer expectations around delivery speed continue to rise. A customer expects some portion of your assortment to be available for same-day delivery.”

Consumers who choose same-day delivery at checkout and place their order by noon local time, Monday through Saturday, or 10 a.m. local time on Sunday, will receive items the same day. Orders placed after the cut-off times will be delivered the following day.

Products bought for delivery the same day “are driven around something that has urgency,” Ramsey said. “It could be formalwear or an important pair of shoes.”

Ramsey acknowledged that consumers are trying and returning more products than ever. “This sending and receiving of merchandise will continue,” she said. “You have to do everything with fit and technology to help her choose the right sizes.”

Once the free limited time offer ends — Macy’s didn’t reveal the end date — a fee of $8 will be charged for orders eligible for same-day delivery and totaling $75 or more. “We have an eye on the price and what it will cost us [to provide free same-day delivery],” Ramsey said. “We’re testing and learning. We may need to set the threshold [minimum purchase requirement] higher. It’s a math problem.”

Macy’s recently relaunched its web site, moving from an “incredibly promotional-looking site to a more elevated look,” Ramsey said. “We’re bringing her more inspiration, more choices, more features and more convenience.”

#MacysLove, a style contest launching on Oct. 7, will ask shoppers to upload images of themselves wearing the retailer’s fashion in exchange for the chance to earn Macy’s gift cards or the placement of a photo on the retailer’s homepage. “We’re giving the customer a mirror of herself on macys.com,” Ramsey said. “We hope she’ll get inspired by seeing people who look like her.”

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