Target hitting the bullseye on digital?

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Target hitting the bullseye on digital?

By Gina Acosta - 05/15/2018
Earlier this year Target announced free two-day shipping on hundreds of thousands of orders on—many of which are shipped from stores.

Target is making its next-day delivery service for household essentials cheaper as it looks to better compete in the online grocery space.

Target is lowering the price of its Target Restock service, which will now be free for Target REDcard purchases and $2.99 for all other orders, as the service expands nationwide. 

Target Restock was first tested in 2017 as a way to save busy shoppers time and make it easier than ever to get household essentials delivered to their homes quickly (guests place online orders from more than 35,000 items before 7 p.m. M-F and receive their items the next day).

Expanding nationally, and covering more than 75 percent of the U.S. population, marks a big milestone in Target’s aggressive scaling of delivery services that use physical Target stores to get items to guests faster.

It’s the first of such services to expand nationally this year—curbside pickup service Drive Up and same-day delivery on groceries and more with Shipt are set to follow soon, the retailer said.

“Target Restock is another way we’re making life easier for our busy, budget-conscious guests,” said Dawn Block, Target’s senior vice president of digital. “Our guests love the speed and convenience of the service. And now that Target Restock is an even better value, we think the service will become increasingly popular.”

Target Restock was developed as a way to save busy guests time and make it easy to get household essentials delivered to their homes quickly. Here’s how it works:

  1. Guests visit Target Restock and choose from an expanded assortment of 35,000 popular essentials—from cleaning supplies to baby products and more. 
  2. Guests add the items to a box (up to 45 pounds—about the size of a shopping cart) and watch the capacity tracker to see how much room is left. 
  3. Order by 7 p.m. Monday through Friday and Target will deliver the box the next day for just $2.99, or free for REDcard purchases.

How is Target able to deliver Restock orders so quickly?

"Because we fulfill the orders right from the shelves of nearby stores. Using stores to speed up delivery and pick up options for guests is a big part of our effort to make Target the easiest place to shop. And, speaking of easy: we’ve also recently launched a voice-activated experience for Target Restock, so guests can now order their Restock essentials through Google Home or a smartphone with the Google Assistant app," according to a company statement.

Earlier this year Target announced free two-day shipping on hundreds of thousands of orders on—many of which are shipped from stores. It is also rapidly expanding same-day delivery of groceries and more with Shipt, as well as the new order pickup service, Drive Up, where Target team members bring orders out to guests in the parking lot.

In other Target news, the company named William J. Foudy, Jr. as president, Target Sourcing Services, on Tuesday. Foudy will oversee Target's global sourcing organization, including strategy, operations, quality assurance, product safety and responsible sourcing initiatives. He will report to Target's executive vice president and chief merchandising officer, Mark Tritton.14,

Target Sourcing Services has 14 offices around the world, which facilitate production in 34 countries. Target is the second largest U.S. importer.

"Target's global sourcing operations are a key strength of ours and integral to our ability to deliver a differentiated assortment at an unmatched value in the market," said Tritton. "The broad scope of Bill's retail experience, including his tenure working with global brands, will accelerate our efforts as we continue to reimagine our owned brand portfolio, offering guests even more unique products for an incredible price that they can find only at Target."

Foudy brings to Target more than 25 years of experience in the sourcing industry and has led international teams for brands such as Adidas and Nike. Most recently, he comes from Walmart, where he was vice president of global sourcing, based in Hong Kong.

"Target has always excelled at creating consumer excitement with quality, exclusive merchandise," said Foudy. "I'm thrilled to join and lead the world class sourcing team that contributes to Target's growth, industry leadership and guest experience."

The Wall Street Journal also reported that Target is testing a new distribution strategy aimed at speeding up its restocking and making the retailer more nimble at stores and online.

The aim is to pare its replenishment cycle from days to hours and reduce inventory at stores, especially at the retailer’s new small-format stores and locations in denser urban areas. The approach, now in pilot mode at a warehouse in Perth Amboy, N.J., also uses the same pool of inventory to replenish stores and fulfill online orders, a departure from Target’s existing supply chain, The Wall Street Journal said.

Under the operation Target is testing at the New Jersey facility, called a “flow center,” the company sends shipments to stores more frequently and in smaller lots tailored more precisely to demand rather than shipping big cases of products, Preston Mosier, Target’s senior vice president of global supply chain and logistics field operations, said Thursday at an industry conference in New York, The Wall Street Journal said.

Read the Journal article here.