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Source: Stephanie Clifford and Claire Cain Miller - The N.Y Times (Paid Registration)

This holiday season, same-day shipping has replaced free shipping as the new must-have promotion. It’s logistically complicated and money-losing — and may not even be a service that consumers want or need, analysts say. But retailers from Walmart to small shops like Shoptiques are willing to take the risk. Even the Postal Service has introduced a same-day option for retailers. And the reason is simple: fear of Amazon.com.

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