Target Explores the World of Delivery

The Lempert Report
August 24, 2015

Is Target ready to embark on Grocery delivery?

Online grocery delivery is beginning to take shape here in the US, and now it seems Target is the latest to take steps into the delivery game. According to the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal,  Target is to begin testing online grocery delivery,  rivaling competitors such as Walmart, AmazonFresh and Instacart.

The retail giant isn't offering much in the way of details yet, but The Minneapolis Star-Tribune quotes Chief Marketing Officer Jeff Jones as saying a trial of the service will be offered "In the very near future."

Target has made several recent efforts to draw in consumers, specifically targeting Gen Y and Hispanic shoppers. For example,  the recent makeover of their grocery departments to feature more products like granola and yogurt and craft beer, wine and coffee, all in an effort to appeal to younger customers. They're also pushing their appeal to the health conscious shopper by  offering more organic, natural, and gluten-free foods. This latest online delivery effort seems an inevitable next step. There's no doubt that for today's busy time starved shopper, grocery shopping can feel like a drag and for this digital generation, online ordering and delivery definitely makes the process more appealing.

And for other retailers consumers have responded well, a recent article in MediaPost reminds us that  chains like "Kroger and Hy-Vee, are on the verge of scaling home delivery up. Smaller companies, such as Roche Brothers in Boston and Coborns in Minnesota, which makes unattended deliveries, have plenty of fans. And Peapod, the online grocery service owned by global giant Ahold, has done well partly because of its pioneering in the category, and because it fills its order through more efficient distribution centers." 

So while we wait and see how Target approaches this and how consumers respond, supermarkets should be reminded that they too need to be constantly rethinking and retargeting consumers, particularly young consumers, in ways that appeal to them. Shoppers want convenience and they want to feel they have options when it comes to how they can shop. Supermarkets need to make sure they are keeping up or risk losing customers.