Target has announced that it is unveiling its Target Restock service in the city of Chicago and six other markets in the United States. The service, which allows grocery orders to be made by 2 pm for next-day delivery at a fixed fee of $4.99, initially underwent a trial in Dallas, Denver and Minneapolis in summer.
Besides Chicago other cities in the United States which will get the service include Baltimore, Washington D.C., St. Louis, San Francisco, Philadelphia, New York, Los Angeles and Atlanta. Customers of the retailer can reorder merchandise that does not exceed 45 pounds in weight. As they load up the virtual shopping carts there is a capacity tracker that indicates whether there is still room for more merchandise.
Earlier in the year Target’s rival, Walmart, unveiled Easy Reorder which allowed shoppers to reorder items they frequently purchased online and also in the offline outlets through an app that bears a list of the customer’s most-purchased items. Amazon on the other hand has various replenishment-driven services and this includes Amazon Prime, Amazon Prime Pantry, Instant Pickup and Amazon Dash.
It is estimated that the Amazon Prime loyalty program has lured approximately 60% of the consumers in the United States and this includes Target’s shoppers. According to Magid, a research consulting firm, about 57% of the people who shop regularly at Target are Amazon Prime members.
In the opinion of Brian Cornell, Target’s chief executive officer, the chain of stores that the retailer has is an advantage with regards to the battle for replenishment orders that is shaping up. This is because with more than 1,800 outlets, Target is using its admirable distribution network as points from which to ship orders made online.
“Because so many of our stores can now ship directly to guests, we have been able to increase delivery speed while still controlling costs, and that in turn has allowed us to offer new fulfillment options like Target Restock,” said Cornell.
The launch of Target’s replenishment service comes less than ten days since the retailer announced that it would be ramping up its holiday-season hiring plans. Compared to 2016 when it hired 70,000 during the busy end-of-year shopping season, Target plans to recruit 40% more to reach a figure of 100,000. Another 4,500 jobs will be added at distribution centers as the retailer is expecting an increase in online sales too. The seasonal hiring is slated to start mid next month.