Knock-Knock, Target Calling?

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Following in the footsteps of Amazon and Wal-Mart, Target may be joining the competition to deliver groceries to your door.

The Minneapolis-based retailer discussed plans for revamping its grocery department at a recent vendors summit, according to the Star-Tribune.

The retailer wants to focus on “on-demand shopping,” according to Target’s chief marketing officer, Jeff Jones. Target will test grocery delivery service “in the very near future,” he said.

Target’s plans to offer grocery delivery may simply be an attempt to keep up with competing retailers, George John, marketing professor at the University of Minnesota’s Carlson School of Management, told CBS Minnesota.

“Part of it is just table stakes, you’ve got to do it,” John said.

John said that the immediate profits are not the only reason to jump into grocery delivery. Perhaps more important is how they glean and leverage useful information about customers’ shopping habits and preferred purchases, he said.

“I’m going to guess that it’s not going to improve anyone’s bottom line that much, unless they can use all that information they have to re-organize what they buy, how they buy and make the offerings more appealing to you. That’s where the real upside is.”

There’s no word yet on when and where the grocery delivery testing could take place.

Target is testing curbside pickup of online orders at some stores in California and New Jersey, Consumerist said.

The retailer has embraced a number of changes in recent months. Earlier this year, Target lowered its free-shipping minimum from $50 to $25, which the retailer claims had a near immediate impact on sales. Also, in June, Target announced it was selling its pharmacy and clinic businesses to CVS.

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