Retailers are rushing to offer same-day shipping for the holidays, but some are finding it difficult to deliver.
Macy’s and Kohl’s are among the merchants that now offer fast deliveries, aiming to appeal to consumers clamoring for instant gratification.
But logistics and fuel, labor and infrastructure costs remain obstacles.
“There’s only so long they can absorb the cost,” shipping industry analyst Satish Jindel told the Associated Press last week. “It’s a huge challenge for retailers.”
The Postal Service is testing a same-day service in New York City, where carriers deliver clothing and other goods soon after customers place orders with participating retailers.
Other merchants are working with transportation startups like Uber and Deliv, relying on their drivers to deliver packages.
Retailers also are speeding up deliveries by treating their stores as de facto warehouses and building more distribution centers.
Not all businesses can afford such investments, which means some businesses might withdraw from the same-day delivery game after the holiday rush.
“It’s nice to have, [but only] if you can get it for free,” industry analyst Sucharita Mulpuru told the AP.