(Reuters) — Amazon has quietly opened a collection of small warehouses nearer to huge U.S. cities in a transfer to shave hours off supply occasions, the corporate instructed Reuters.

On Tuesday, the world’s largest on-line retailer is updating its same-day supply program for customers in Phoenix, Philadelphia, Dallas, and Orlando, it mentioned. Amazon will assure packages arrive by a number of set occasions each day.

The initiative underscores the corporate’s goal to remain fast in on-line retail, outdoing rivals’ free two-day supply affords so customers stay loyal to Amazon’s transport and media-streaming membership Prime, which prices $119 per yr within the United States.

Amazon has lengthy provided one- or two-hour supply through Prime Now, a service that features recent groceries and greater than 20,000 gadgets.

The same-day supply will now assure supply of greater than 100,000 merchandise, from telephone chargers to pet food, in as little as 5 hours, from a brand new warehouse shut to every launch metropolis, mentioned Jon Alexander, Amazon’s director of supply expertise. For comparability, Amazon affords greater than 100 million gadgets for two-day U.S. supply or quicker through Prime.

“The smaller selection enables us to put these types of facilities much closer to customers,” he mentioned. Additional gadgets — as much as Three million — will go by means of the amenities on their option to same-day clients.

The new format combines the storage, selecting, and packing capabilities of Amazon’s success facilities with the sorting and supply capabilities of different amenities in a single constructing.

Compared with success facilities, that are farther from city cores and home way more stock, the brand new warehouse is roughly a tenth the scale, at 100,000 sq. ft. Amazon says shorter drive occasions will assist it meet its pledge on carbon emissions.

The firm declined to touch upon the amenities’ price. Amazon, as soon as well-known for spending away revenue, typically cites warehouse build-outs as considered one of its greatest areas of funding.

According to Alexander, Amazon would usually lease current areas and alter them to accommodate the operation.

The new amenities are automated with the identical “drive units” utilized in Amazon’s success facilities. These are squat, floor-scurrying robots that hoist up movable cabinets of stock and produce them to associates who choose buyer orders. Amazon mentioned every constructing will create a whole bunch of full- and part-time jobs.

While the same-day possibility is roofed for Prime members who spend a minimum of $35, these with out Prime are charged $12.98 per order, a tactic that might encourage folks to enroll.

Amazon will announce extra cities for this system later this yr, Alexander mentioned.

(Reporting by Jeffrey Dastin in San Francisco, modifying by Greg Mitchell and Kenneth Maxwell.)