Target Begins Testing Next-Day Delivery
Target announced yesterday that it’s testing a next-day home delivery service called Target Restock. The service, which is currently in trial with Target employees ahead of a customer-facing pilot this summer in the Minneapolis area, is designed to offer an easy way to shop online for household essentials which will arrive the day after you place your order. Here’s how it will work: Once the pilot is live this summer, Minneapolis-area customers that have a REDcard will be eligible to visit a dedicated online experience to access more than 8,000 household essentials. From there, they'll be able to fill a box with multiple items and have their orders shipped to their homes for a low, flat fee. The items will be packaged at a nearby store, allowing Target to fulfill orders placed before 1:30 p.m. by the next business day. Currently, Target is working with UPS on Restock, but plans to test with various shipping providers going forward.
Total Retail’s Take: This move by Target is clearly meant to compete with similar offerings from rival retailers, like Amazon.com's Prime Now and Prime Pantry Service, as well as Wal-Mart’s efforts in in same-day grocery delivery and pickup. In addition, same-day grocery delivery is offered by third-parties like Instacart, Shipt, Peapod, Postmates and others, which work with local stores. While Target is arriving a bit late to the next-day delivery market for consumables, a large enough number of customers head to the retailer's stores to pick up everyday essential items regularly, so it may still be in good position to compete if and when the service becomes widely available.