Holiday Shipping Cutoff Dates for Top 40 Retailers; StellaService Sees Some Dates Changed

Dates in this post were updated at 4:30 p.m. ET on 12/22

StellaService has noticed a few retailers shifting their stated holiday cutoff dates.

StellaService has surveyed the sites of top retailers to determine the last opportunity to order products to be delivered by Christmas Day via standard shipping. You may remember that StellaService ordered products at the last minute last season and found 8 retailers that missed delivery.

StellaService Analysts have found several retailers that have changed their dates in recent days. For example:

HP – Previously served a pop-up window showing the cutoff date as 12/17. On 12/4 they rolled out a holiday shipping page in the customer service portal showing the last day to order with standard shipping as 12/16. On 12/10, HP changed the date back to 12/17.

Ralph Lauren – Moved from 12/21 to 12/19. On 12/13 they moved the date back to 12/21.

Target – On 12/3 they provided an explicit cut-off date of 12/20, but removed that date on the site by 12/8. A stated cutoff date of 12/20 was added to the site on 12/12.

Kohl’s – Changed their shipping date range from 3-8 days to 3-6 days on 12/8. Provided a stated cutoff date of 12/19 on 12/12.

Macy’s - On 12/16 they moved their cut-off date from 12/21 to 12/22 (2 day complimentary shipping).

Estee Lauder - On 12/18 the company moved its cut-off date to 12/22 (free 2-day service).

Retailers may adjust these dates based on demand, warehouse staffing and strategy for auto-upgrades. Sometimes retailers will set an earlier date, then move to later to drive conversion.

In addition to the changing dates, StellaService Analysts said they were frustrated by retailers that buried the information in FAQ pages. And, they found it confusing when companies didn’t provide a time along with a date. “That made me nervous,” one analyst said. “I would be afraid to place that order on the last day.”

StellaService Analysts found prominent callouts for holiday cutoffs to be a big help, adding confidence to their shopping process. Pottery Barn is an example of a company doing it right. The homepage says has a prominent banner listing shipping schedules for those shopping for Hanukkah and Christmas.

To compile the list, StellaService noted the stated cutoff times on the retailers’ websites. If the retailer did not provide a holiday cutoff time, StellaService used the retailer’s standard shipping estimate to determine the last day to order.

The Countdown

Some of the earliest cutoff dates begin this week. For instance, if you’re hoping to order from Newegg, orders must be placed by Dec. 12.

For those who always hold out shopping until the last minute, retailers like Apple, L.L.Bean, Pottery Barn, Saks Fifth Avenue, Sears, Zappos and Lululemon are guaranteeing delivery for orders placed on Dec. 22. Nordstrom – at Dec. 23 – has the latest stated cutoff date among retailers researched by StellaService.

The most popular cutoff date, posted by 12 retailers, is Dec. 19.

See the full list with cutoff dates and times below:

Amazon: December 19th by Midnight – Stated
Apple: December 23nd by 10:30 AM PST – Calculated
Barnes & Noble: December 16th by 11:59 AM EST – Stated
Best Buy: December 22nd by 10:30 AM CST – Stated
Costco: December 17th by Midnight – Calculated
Crate & Barrel: December 19th by 6PM CST – Stated
Dell: December 23rd by 11:59 PM CST – Stated
Estee Lauder: December 22nd by 6PM EST – Stated
Footlocker: December 19th by 8PM CST – Stated
GameStop: December 19th by Noon – Stated
Gap: December 20th by 11:59 PM EST – Stated
Home Depot: December 16th by 12PM EST – Stated
HP: December 17th by 11:59 AM EST – Stated
J.Crew: December 21st by 11:59 PM EST – Stated
JC Penney: December 22nd by 11:59 PM CST – Stated
Kohl’s: December 19th by 11PM CST – Stated
L.L.Bean: December 22nd by 12PM EST – Stated
Lands’ End: December 19th by Midnight – Stated
Lowe’s: December 19th by 12PM EST – Stated
Lululemon: December 22nd by 11:59 PM EST – Stated
Macy’s: December 22nd by 11:59 PM EST – Stated
Neiman Marcus: December 16th by Midnight – Calculated
Newegg: December 12th by 12PM Local Time – Stated
Nike: December 22nd by 5PM EST – Stated
Nordstrom: December 23rd by 12PM EST – Stated
Office Depot: December 19th by Midnight – Stated
Pottery Barn: December 22nd by 9AM PST – Stated
Ralph Lauren: December 19th by 11:59:00 PM EST – Stated
Saks Fifth Avenue: December 22nd by 6PM EST – Stated
Sears: December 22nd by 4PM CST – Stated
Sephora: December 22nd by Midnight PST – Stated
Sony: December 17th by Midnight – Stated
Staples: Delivery estimate dependent on shopper location and item selection
Target: December 20th by Midnight – Stated
Toys ‘R Us: December 17th by Midnight – Calculated
Under Armour: December 18th by Midnight – Stated
Victoria’s Secret: December 16th by 5PM EST – Stated
Walmart: December 19th by Midnight – Stated
Wayfair: Delivery estimate dependent on shopper location and item selection
Zappos: December 23rd by 1PM PST – Stated
This post will be updated each day to reflect the most current cutoff dates provided by retailers

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