Amazon extends its holiday shopping window with one-day shipping and new stores

From CNET: Amazon on Wednesday unveiled its shipping cutoff times for this year's holiday season, with the company using its growing footprint of stores and one-day shipping service to extend its sales right up to Christmas.

The e-commerce giant has worked over the past six years to ramp up its own shipping and logistics capabilities. That work was sparked in part by an embarrassing holiday season in 2013 when a surge of last-minute shopping overwhelmed UPS' network and caused a rash of delayed shipments that didn't arrive in time for Christmas. Amazon was forced to offer $20 gift cards and refunds to affected customers.

Now Amazon's expanded logistics network includes a fleet of its own planes, thousands of truck trailers and a network of independent local delivery operators. Added to that, Amazon now owns Whole Foods, which has over 500 locations, and has opened 30 Amazon 4-star and Amazon Books stores. It's also spending heavily to shift its two-day Prime delivery service to just one day, with millions of items already available for next-day shipping.

That work should help the company avoid a repeat of 2013, though it's also worrying Amazon's shipping partners that the company is quickly becoming a direct competitor.

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