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Amazon.com says it will match Wal-Mart's free shipping offer

November 13, 2010 |  1:26 pm

Amazon.com says it isn't going to be one-upped in the holiday retail war.

After Wal-Mart, the nation's largest retailer, said in a surprise announcement Thursday that it would offer free shipping with no minimum purchase or subscription fee for the holidays on about 60,000 items, Amazon said it would match the promotion.

"We aim to meet or beat any deal out there," Amazon spokeswoman Sally Fouts said.

The Seattle-based online shopping giant already offers free "Super Saver Shipping" year-round on orders of more than $25. Through its Amazon Prime program, members pay an annual fee of $79 to get free unlimited two-day shipping with no minimum purchase.

"They're really matching our free Super Saver Shipping program but on a limited selection of items," Fouts said of Wal-Mart.

Wal-Mart said its free shipping offer, which runs through Dec. 20, would include electronics and thousands of video games, toys, home appliances, furniture, jewelry and baby items.

Free shipping has been a hot topic among retailers who sell goods on the Internet, as research has shown that many customers avoid buying online because they don't want to pay for delivery costs. This Christmas season, many retailers including JCPenney and Williams-Sonoma have aimed to lower the cost of shipping for online customers.

-- Andrea Chang

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