Target Goes After Prime Pantry, Launches Giant Box Shipments In Minnesota

Image courtesy of Mike Mozart

Target wants to encourage customers to order more everyday basics online, and to order those items all in one single shipment. That’s why the retailer wants you to fill a box that’s roughly the size of a shopping cart with non-perishable food and household goods, which will be delivered to you the next day for five bucks. Does that sound like Amazon’s Prime Pantry? It should, except that Restock’s shipping is slightly cheaper and a lot faster.

Like Prime Pantry, a service whose existence we still question, the program’s idea is to turn a shopping trip into a big shipment. The box size is fixed: Shoppers are told how much room is left as they fill their virtual carts (or boxes) with goods, and can even shop by how much of the box an item takes up.

So far, the program is only open to people who have Target’s RedCard and who live in the retailer’s home state of Minnesota. Customers can fill the giant box with their household products, food, or baby and pet supplies, and then have it shipped for a $4.99 flat rate.

The beta version of Restock has a separate site to shop on and its own inventory of items, like Prime Pantry. Orders placed by 2 p.m. will arrive by the end of the next day.

What Restock doesn’t offer is any discounts or deals: Shoppers get their customary 5% off for using the RedCard, but there aren’t other discounts. If an item is on sale or there’s a free gift card promotion at a regular Target or the main Target.com site, it won’t be on sale on the Restock site.

The Minneapolis Star-Tribune points out that the program exists to make e-commerce shipping more efficient: Instead of shipping a single lip gloss, the retailer is shipping you a box containing 45 pounds or so of merchandise, boosting the retailer’s average purchase size in its online operations.

If you live in Minnesota and have tried Restock, or live anywhere and have tried Prime Pantry, let us know how it goes!