Coming out of 2018 when Q4 comparable sales rose 5.3 percent and its $5 billion-annual digital arm grew 31 percent, Target is plotting to keep both sides of its retail business humming. The retailer is expanding its online presence with its own take on rival Walmart and Amazon.com’s marketplace segments with Target+.
“We are known for curation and our consumers, our guests expect that,” TGT’s CMO and digital officer Rick Gomez told analysts last week. “So, Target+ will be invitation only. It’s not intended to be a catalog of a list of products and products. Rather, we’re going to go very deliberately, very intentionally after the right categories, the right brands and then offer them on Target+ and with third parties.
Mizuno and Schuylkill Valley Sports have already been invited to participate on Target+ where shoppers will get a 5 percent discount on purchases if they use the discounter’s Red card to buy goods and have the ability to return items to a Target brick-and-mortar store. More industry brands may flock to the online marketplace given Target is also seeking out third-party sellers of outdoor gear.
“It’s a profitable way to grow out dotcom business because the third parties deal with the supply chain components of its and then what we offer, which I think is a competitive advantage, is you can take your product if you are not happy with it back to a Target store,” added Gomez.
The retailer, while confirming Target+ is currently in its “early stages” thinks the business can be a long-term profitable growth driver for the retailer.
Among other key developments at Target:
• Annual store remodel program will remain constant at 300 in 2019 and 2020 as small-format locations approach 100.
• New Target Circle program, after being tested in Dallas, is being expanded to five new markets. Members get a 1 percent rebate on purchases that they can direct to charities or special offers.
• Target has introduced more than 12 brands over the past 18 months.
• Shipt service was expanded to nearly 1,500 stores in more than 200 markets in months with deliveries of thousands of items in two days or less. Drive-up delivery service, available at 1,000 stores, approached two million in 2018.
• Lowered average unit cost of fulfillment by 20 percent in 2018, driven by Shipt from store and drive-up.