In the race against Amazon and Walmart, Target is stepping up its same-day delivery tech to explore new ways to quickly deliver packages while lowering shipping costs. The big box retailer, which has remained open during the coronavirus pandemic, has also created an operational resources package for retailers to use when reopening stores.
Target plans to acquire technology from Deliv, a startup that focuses on last mile batched delivery.
“As more and more guests are getting what they need through online orders, the proprietary last mile platform we’re buying from Deliv will help us explore new ways to deliver packages even quicker while lowering our shipping costs,” Target said in its blog.
The acquisition will continue to put Target’s stores at the center of its strategy to fulfill digital orders, a tactic that has benefited Target during COVID-19.
While Target noted a somewhat mixed fourth quarter, its same-day services soared by more than 90% in 2019, but were growing faster than shipping to home. In 2019, order pickup grew almost 50% and its curbside Drive Up service, which Target expanded to over 1,500 stores last summer, accounted for a 750% spike in parking lot deliveries from 2018.
“Our game-changing fulfillment services—like Order Pickup, Drive Up and Shipt—have already made same-day delivery and pickup possible for millions of guests,” said Arthur Valdez, Target’s executive vice president and chief supply chain & logistics officer. “This technology from Deliv is just one more example of how Target is investing for the future of local delivery.”
The acquisition news comes shortly after The Wall Street Journal reported Deliv would be winding down its operations on or before Aug. 4, however WSJ noted Target is not involved in the wind-down.
Some members of the Deliv team—including CEO Daphne Carmeli—will join Target.
Target’s Reopening Resources Package
In support of businesses reopening across Target’s home state of Minnesota, the retailer has created a package of helpful operational resources for them to use.
It’s called the SAFE Retail toolkit (available here), and includes templates and guides for employee health screening, benefits examples and cleaning protocols, as well as social distancing and safe employee measures.
“Our teams created the materials using learnings and insights from Target’s own pandemic response efforts,” the retailer said in its blog.
Target is working with the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development, along with Minnesota business associations and other elected leaders, to share the toolkit with businesses across the state.
In addition, Target’s technology experts developed a digital healthcare screening tool that Minnesota businesses can use to track the health of their workforce and identify trends over time.
The retailer also has tapped its supplier network to source infrared thermometers for the state to provide businesses and nonprofits at wholesale cost.
“Target plays many roles in our communities, including retailer, distribution network and employer,” says Tony Heredia, Target’s vice president of compliance & ethics and corporate security. “We believe sharing our expertise with policymakers and elected officials is an important part of being a strong business leader. By sharing our learnings, we hope to support other businesses, communities and leaders so they can operate in a safe way, considering the health and wellbeing of employees, customers and communities alike.”