Target Considers Adding Grocery Delivery Service

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Another store here in Minnesota may soon make it possible for you to get groceries, without ever leaving your home.

Target is considering adding a grocery delivery service.

The company isn’t releasing any details about it yet. But we know the chief marketing officer spoke at a large meeting of Target vendors and executives Tuesday and said a grocery delivery service is something they’d be testing soon.

Grocery delivery service is not new to Minnesota.

For years we’ve seen Coborn Delivers, Kowalski’s and Lund’s and Byerly’s offer home delivery to their customers.

On Wednesday a retail expert told us how Target could benefit from the service.

Dr. George John, a marketing professor at the U of M’s Carlson School of Management, said grocery shopping isn’t what it used to be. Our habits have changed.

Shoppers say home delivery takes the chore out of going to the store.

“No. 1, they are in an extremely tough business,” John said. “Walmart, Target, all of them have been struggling. So they are looking for additional dollars wherever they can. No. 2, their world is changing so much. In the old days, it was a weekly event. We loaded the kids up into the station wagon, and off we went. That’s gone.”

John said grocery delivery enables retailers to gather valuable information about their customers, like shopping habits and preferred merchandise.

“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.”

And for Target, he said another motivation is to simply keep up with the competition.

“Part of it is just table stakes, you’ve got to do it,” John said. “But that’s not worth it because it’s just going to add costs. So if you’re really going to make money, you’ve got to … leverage the information that they get from seeing what you buy.”

John said as grocery sales have gone down, going out to eat has become more popular.

Stores see grocery delivery as a way to make cooking at home more attractive and simply easier, and it also caters to more of us spending more time shopping online these days.

John said as grocery sales have gone down, going out to eat has become more popular.

Stores see grocery delivery as a way to make cooking at home more attractive and simply easier, and it also caters to more of us spending more time shopping online these days.

We don’t where the testing of the grocery delivery will take place for Target. It could certainly be in another city.

That testing phase allows them to figure many things about the best way to do it, from using their own staff to make the deliveries, to contracting out to someone else, to what kinds of bags and trucks they use to keep food cold or hot.

More from Angela Davis
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