Target today announced plans to purchase Grand Junction, a technology company that allows for quicker, more efficient last-mile delivery.
In a world in which the yardstick for everything seems to be Amazon, Target has been looking for ways to speed up deliveries. With the purchase of Grand Junction, the retailer said it will be able to expedite shipping with the goal of being able to provide same-day service.
“Whether guests shop online or in a store, they expect to get products quickly and on their terms,” Arthur Valdez, Target’s executive vice president, chief supply chain and logistics officer, said in a blog post. “With this acquisition, Target will have immediate access to Grand Junction’s technology and carrier network, which will accelerate the work we’re doing to improve our speed of delivery. It will also boost our ability to offer new services – like same-day delivery, and even assembly and installation – to our guests.”
Grand Junction, which has been partnering with Target on a small scale, provides technology that allows retailers to select the fastest method from its network of 700 carriers for local deliveries. Through Grand Junction’s platform, Target will be able to track packages and rate carrier performance.
The two companies are currently partnering on a same-day delivery trial in New York’s TriBeCa neighborhood, which it hopes to expand throughout Manhattan this fall before adding additional cities next year.
The retailer is also testing Target Restock, Target’s answer to Amazon’s Prime Pantry. Just in Minneapolis for now, the program allows select area residents to get next day deliveries on home essentials for a flat $4.99 fee.
What Target has not been doing is adding to its core competencies with acquisitions, as Walmart has been with Jet.com, Bonobos and Modcloth—recent buys that are helping the low-price player better compete in the online space. With this development, Target is answering some analysts’ concerns that see its focus on private label and buy online, pick up in store necessary but lacking.
As Amazon continues to dominate online deliveries thanks to its fleet of fulfillment centers and plans like beehive facilities from which it can deploy delivery drones, services like Restock and local delivery fulfilled through Grand Junction could help Target leverage its 1,800 stores in a similar fashion.