US Web retailers push delivery boundaries

They promise quick turnarounds for last-minute orders

New York

TO compete during what could become the busiest online buying season in history, Web retailers are offering shoppers speedy shipping, one-day upgrades and even promises to deliver last-minute orders by Christmas Day.

The offers are great sales boosters, logistical horror shows for shipping crews and, increasingly, a way of life for modern gift-givers. But are the offers of super-fast fulfilment also leading shoppers to expect the impossible? In other words: What, exactly, does the promise...

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