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Target Taking Amazon-Supported Web Ops In House

– Target, which has outsourced its e-commerce operations to since
2001, said it will allow its contract with the e-tail pioneer to lapse in two

Instead, the discount chain will build and manage its own
platform for, which it expects
to launch before the 2011 holiday selling season.

The two companies will continue to work together during the next
two years to “optimize performance of the existing platform and fulfillment
services,” Target said.

Amazon presently provides most of the infrastructure behind
Target’s e-commerce business, from Web site and warehouse operations to order
fulfillment and customer services.

“Amazon has been an important strategic partner since we
re-launched in 2001, and the strength of Amazon’s technology and
fulfillment services has been a contributing factor in’s success,”
said Steve Eastman, president of and former CE chief for the chain.
“However, to deliver a customized multichannel experience for Target’s guests,
we believe it is in Target’s best interest going forward to assume full control
over the design and management of Target’s e-commerce technology platform,
fulfillment and guest services operations.”

In a statement, Sebastian Gunningham, Amazon’s seller services
senior VP, said, “We are grateful to have been able to work with Target for the
last eight years, and we wish Target the very best as they go forward.”