Target has a new online strategy
While Amazon and Walmart focus on acquisitions and innovation projects, Target is going in a whole other direction.
According to The Wall Street Journal, Target is focused solely on improving in-store sales and online margins. At the same time, the retailer passed on potential acquisitions and is instead revamping some e-commerce projects and cutting ties with digital partners.
Target tells the Journal that it isn’t looking to be a soup-to-nuts retailer.
“We’re not trying to be the catalog of everything,” said digital chief Mike McNamara. “We aren’t going to add products to our website and stores just because they exist.”
According to the Journal, Target has begun to centralize decision-making for digital projects. Earlier this year, it eliminated an in-house startup that was developing a marketplace for third-party sellers. The platform, internally called Goldfish, was to feature products from outside sellers and function separately from Target.com, according to people familiar with the project. Such marketplaces account for a substantial portion of the merchandise now sold on Amazon.com and Walmart.com.
The Journal says Target also dissolved a partnership with Curbside, an app for picking up orders outside stores. Other projects, including a robot-enabled store prototype and a food-research lab, were also axed. The company’s chief strategy and innovation officer, Casey Carl, departed earlier this month after nearly 20 years at the retailer. Target’s marketing, digital and grocery chiefs have also left the company in the past year. Under Mr. McNamara, Target is moving forward on select digital initiatives. The company is working on its own curbside-pickup service, according to a person familiar with the plans. Executives have also discussed the possibility of developing another marketplace with a limited selection of products.
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