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Nordstrom announces free online shipping and returns

August 29, 2011 | 10:48 am

Nordstrom

Nordstrom is giving shoppers something to cheer about: Starting Monday, the upscale department store chain will begin offering free shipping and returns for all purchases made online.

Previously, the Seattle company offered free shipping for online purchases of $200 or more, or through promotional offers. The new free shipping policy applies to Nordstrom.com orders shipped within the U.S.

"Free shipping is reflective of how customers increasingly want to shop online and we hope this change makes it easier and more convenient to shop with us," said Jamie Nordstrom, president of Nordstrom Direct.

Like many retailers, Nordstrom has been improving its online experience as more consumers turn to their computers and smartphones to shop. Other improvements the chain has made recently include an enhanced mobile website launched in June; a "search by store" function on Nordstrom.com to allow customers to view available merchandise at nearby Nordstrom stores in real time; and shared inventory between the company's stores and its website.

The cost of shipping is seen by many shoppers and retail analysts as one of the biggest drawbacks of shopping online (along with not being able to see the product in person and having to wait a few days for your purchase to arrive). Just a handful of big-name retailers offer no-strings-attached free shipping, including online shoe website Zappos.com; online giant Amazon.com offers free shipping on orders of $25 or more. 

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-- Andrea Chang

Photo: Nordstrom at Westfield Topanga in Canoga Park. Credit: Associated Press

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