Now Offers Unconditional Free Shipping and Returns

NordstromsWhile Nordstrom has yet to find a suitable location in New York City, now online shoppers can get any item delivered for free. On Monday, Nordstrom (JWN) announced it will offer free shipping and returns for all U.S. orders. Before, shoppers had to spend at least $200 to be eligible for free shipping.

As the Seattle-based company stated in its press release, the new policy is part of the company's effort to "provide a more compelling online experience." Indeed, Nordstrom has made a number of moves in 2011 to increase its online retail stature. In February, the company acquired the flash-sale website HauteLook for $180 million in stock. In June, it launched a new version of for smartphones, and introduced a shopping function that allows customers to see whether items are in stock at nearby stores.

Nordstrom's second quarter earnings report suggests that online retail is a good direction for the company: Net earnings were $175 million, up 20% from the same quarter last year.

L.L. Bean, Zappos, Shopbop, and ASOS are among the few big-name retailers that have offered unconditional free shipping. As of now, no other department store chain offers the service. Macy's charges $8 for orders under $99. J.C. Penney's (JCP) and Lord & Taylor charge on a scale based on the purchase amount. Saks and others offer free shipping deals during certain times of the year.

Perhaps that will change now that Nordstrom has made the leap. On Aug. 26, Neiman Marcus issued a promotion code allowing free shipping on all orders. While originally the offer was set to expire on Monday, the day of Nordstrom's free shipping announcement, Neiman Marcus has extended it until Labor day.

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