Is Target ready to make a move on the home delivery front?
Target announced yesterday that it reached a deal to acquire Grand Junction, a San Francisco-based technology company that has created a software platform used by retailers and others to manage local deliveries through a network of more than 700 carriers coast-to-coast.
The two companies have been working together on a same-day delivery pilot at Target’s store in the Tribeca neighborhood of New York City. Guests (Target’s parlance for customers) who purchase items while shopping in the store can choose to have them delivered to their apartment rather than carrying them home on foot or on the bus, cab or subway.
“Grand Junction’s technology and algorithms will help Target deliver to guests faster and more efficiently,” said Arthur Valdez, executive vice president, chief supply chain and logistics officer, Target, in a statement. “This acquisition is part of Target’s ongoing efforts to strengthen Target’s supply chain to provide greater speed, reliability and convenience for guests.”
Target’s deal for Grand Junction comes at a time when it is playing catch up to rivals including Amazon.com and Walmart when it comes to home delivery and click and collect services. Mr. Valdez, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports, has been tasked with accelerating the retailer’s logistics capabilities since he joined Target last year after 16 years with Amazon.
In June, the retailer launched a pilot of Target Restock, a next-day delivery program of everyday staples for REDcard members that has been compared to Amazon’s Prime Pantry. Shoppers have a choice of more than 10,000 products including baby, beauty, household products, personal care, pet and shelf-stable foods. Orders are added to a box that holds up to 45 pounds with shoppers updated on how much room is available as they add items to their cart. Items ordered by 2:00 p.m. are delivered the next day for a fee of $4.99.
Target also offers same-day deliveries of groceries in concert with Instacart in Chicago, San Francisco and the Twin Cities market.
Grand Junction’s 13 employees will continue to work out of the company’s office in San Francisco once the deal is completed.
- Target to Acquire Grand Junction to Expand and Improve Delivery Services for Guests – Target Corp.
- Target acquires delivery technology firm, beefs up grocery team – Minneapolis Star Tribune
- Grand Junction
- Will Target’s answer to Prime Pantry help it outdo Amazon? – RetailWire
- Former Amazon executive Arthur Valdez working to transform Target from elephant to gazelle – Minneapolis Star Tribune
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Will Target’s acquisition of Grand Junction enable it to compete more effectively in the home delivery market? What do you see as the logistics opportunities and challenges that Arthur Valdez and the newly-expanded Target team have in front of them?