Toys R Us lowers free shipping limit for online orders

Shoppers pass by the Toys R Us store at Times Square in New York November 22, 2010. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

CHICAGO (Reuters) - U.S. retailer Toys R Us said on Wednesday it has lowered its free shipping minimum for online orders, as retailers continue to outdo each other with delivery deals before the holiday shopping season.

The world’s largest dedicated toy retailer said it will lower the minimum required for free shipping of online orders from $49 to $19.

In May, the world's largest retailer Wal-Mart Stores Inc WMT.N said it planned to test a new unlimited online shipping service this year for $50 annually, a move aimed at Inc's AMZN.O $99 yearly Prime shipping service.

Within days, Amazon announced it will offer limited free same-day delivery under Prime.

“Based on current insights and a comprehensive review of the competitive landscape, we’ve decided to drastically lower our free shipping minimum, just in time for the holiday season,” said Matt Blonder, vice president for U.S. e-Commerce at Toys R Us.

A recent study of 1,400 online shoppers by Walker Sands Communications found that free shipping was the feature most likely to get people to shop online, followed by free returns and one-day shipping.

Reporting by Nandita Bose in Chicago; Editing by Andrew Hay