Target Buys Shipping Tech Company To Speed Up Deliveries, Compete With Amazon

Image courtesy of Mike Mozart

From drones to airplanes, and fleets of on-demand delivery drivers or employees dropping off packages, many retailers — most notably Amazon — have begun dipping they toes in the logistics and delivery game. Now it’s Target’s turn, as the big box retailer has acquired a transportation tech firm with the intention of speeding up deliveries to customers.

Target announced today that it has purchased logistics tech business Grand Junction, which offers a software platform to help retailers determine the fastest, most efficient method for local deliveries.

This marks Target’s first push into creating its own logistics service that would enable it to create and test more efficient delivery options for online customers.

Expanded Programs

The relationship between the retailer and the transportation company isn’t new. Target is currently partnering with Grand Junction on the current test of same-day delivery option at the retailer’s Tribeca store.

Target says that by acquiring Grand Junction it will be able to expand the same-day delivery pilot additional New York-area stores this fall, and to other major cities next year.

“Beyond that, we’ll leverage Grand Junction’s platform – which is already used by hundreds of carriers – to become even faster and more efficient in how we get products to our guests,” Arthur Valdez, Target’s executive vice president, chief supply chain and logistics officer, said in a statement.

Eventually, Target says it could use Grand Junction, and its network of more than 700 carriers, to create an assembly and installation program.

While Target didn’t provide additional details on such a service, it could be similar to installation program already offered or being tested by Wayfair, Amazon, and Best Buy.

Playing Catch-up

Target’s purchase of Grand Junction is just the retailer’s latest attempt to play catch-up with rivals, Amazon and Walmart.com — both of which have already offer several delivery options for customers.

Back in May, the company began testing a program that gave customers the ability to get one-day shipping household items.

Restock, which is currently only available in the Minneapolis area, allows RedCard holders to fill a giant box with their household products, food, or baby and pet supplies, and then have it shipped for a $4.99 flat rate. Orders placed by 2 p.m. will arrive by the end of the next day.