News Feature | May 18, 2017

Target Launches Test Of Essentials Restock Program

Christine Kern

By Christine Kern, contributing writer

Target Same-Day Delivery Test

Pilot will be conducted in Minneapolis this summer.

In the latest move to improve fulfillment and boost customer engagement, Target has announced that it is launched a pilot of Target Restock, a program that allows customers to shop for household essentials online and have them delivered to their home the following day. The pilot will be conducted this summer in the Minneapolis area.  According to the Target announcement, they “created Target Restock to save busy guests time, and make it easier than ever to get household essentials delivered quickly. This is another example of how Target is connecting stores and digital to create new services for guests.”

The pilot is open to REDcard holders in the Minneapolis area, who will then visit a dedicated online experience to access thousands of available products. They will be able to choose items to fill a box and have them shipped the next day to their homes for a low, flat fee.

The service is part of a concerted effort to enhance Target’s online services and better compete with Walmart and Amazon for ecommerce customers. The service is similar to Amazon Pantry, according to CNBC. The fee for Amazon Pantry is $5.99 per box and it does not include expedited shipping. Target spokesman Eddie Baeb told ABC News that the company has not yet set a fee,  but that it intends to be "very competitive" with similar offerings. There are also no current plans for a nationwide rollout of the pilot, and that the results of the test would determine its future expansion. “There are lots of logistics we want to figure out,” he told ABC News.

The pilot also comes as Target quietly raised its threshold for free shipping from $25 to $35, matching Walmart’s current level. Walmart lowered its limit from $50 to $35 in January, which then led Amazon to drop its free two-day shipping threshold from $49 to $35 for non-Prime members, as the companies compete for the ecommerce market.