Target Corp. is raising the online shopping stakes with the announcement Monday that it is lowering its free shipping threshold on online orders to $25 from $50.

In doing so, the Minneapolis-based retailer now offers a more competitive free shipping offer than rivals Wal-Mart, which has a $50 minimum to qualify for free shipping; Amazon, which has a $35 minimum; and Best Buy, which has a $35 minimum.

Target’s move comes a couple of months after it ended its bold holiday promotion of free shipping on any size order.

“We saw an enthusiastic response to our free shipping offer over the holidays,” Jason Goldberger, president of and mobile, said in a statement. “Now, whether guests are stocking up or doing fill-in shopping, we’ve enhanced our year-round shipping offer to be one of the best in all of retail.”

About two-thirds of orders on already qualify for free shipping. And while the retailer didn’t say how many orders would fall within that $25 to $50 zone, company spokesman Eddie Baeb noted that 60 percent of all items on cost less than $25.

Last summer, Target broadened and simplified its free shipping policy to make nearly all orders of $50 or more eligible for free shipping.

In addition, a number of retailers offer free shipping to members of their loyalty programs. Target’s Redcard members have enjoyed free shipping on all online orders since November 2011. Members of Amazon’s $99-a-year Prime program receive free two-day shipping on many items. And members of Best Buy’s elite rewards program, who have made $1,500 in purchases in a year, get free shipping on all online orders a perk.

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