The Holy Grail of e-tail – same-day delivery – is close at hand for Target.
The No. 2 discount chain will begin offering the service early next year to customers living near about half of its 1,834 stores, and plans to extend that to all major markets and most of its stores before the next holiday season.
Products initially available for same-day delivery will include consumer electronics, home goods and groceries, and the program will expand to all major product categories by 2019.
Pricing for the service was not announced.
To make it all happen, Target is acquiring Shipt, an Alabama-based grocery delivery business that employs a network of over 20,000 vetted “personal shoppers” who fulfill customers’ orders from local stores and drop off the merchandise within hours.
Target will pay $550 million cash for the three-year-old company, which will operate as a wholly-owned subsidiary and continue to work with various retail partners.
“With Shipt’s network of local shoppers and their current market penetration, we will move from days to hours, dramatically accelerating our ability to bring affordable same-day delivery to guests across the country,” said Target executive VP/COO John Mulligan.
The acquisition is expected to close this month.