Target, which recently acquired grocery delivery company Shipt, is preparing to roll out same-day delivery to its first markets—57 stores across Birmingham, Alabama, and South Florida. The service, offered through Shipt, will be available starting on Feb. 1.
Consumers in those regions will be able to use Shipt’s online marketplace to browse participating local retailers’ aisles online and purchase from a full selection of grocery and household items. Shipt shoppers then take the orders, visit the stores to buy the products and deliver them to users on the same day, usually within just a few hours.
According to Target, “it’s a service that many of our guests have been asking for, so bringing it to them fast is a big priority.”
“Our teams moved at lightning speed to get Target up and running on Shipt’s platform in less than eight weeks,” said John Mulligan, COO, Target. “And we’re not stopping there—we’ll keep expanding, with plans to offer Shipt’s services at nearly half our stores by the end of first quarter, and the majority of stores by the 2018 holiday season, making Target the first retailer to be able to offer same-day delivery in all major markets across the country.”
The strategy will mean unprecedented growth for Shipt too, says the company.
“We’re expanding our presence from around 70 markets to more than 160 markets by the end of the year. And we’ll grow our team by hiring more than 100,000 new shoppers on top of the 20,000 shoppers we have today,” said Bill Smith, founder and CEO of Shipt. “We’re excited to introduce the convenience of same-day delivery to Target guests across the country.”
Target says that as soon as the acquisition news broke in mid-December, teams came together to create a rollout strategy that would have Target entering its first markets by Feb. 1.
“It was an ambitious plan, and Target and Shipt teams moved fast to make it happen,” says the company.
One challenge that came with the plan was getting “hundreds of thousands” of individual products in Target’s aisles uploaded onto Shipt’s app for guests to access—including around 50,000 products—including many fresh foods—that weren’t already listed on Target.com. To do it, teams leveraged existing data, and members of both Target’s and Shipt’s teams visited some stores to gather additional info and check that items are listed accurately.
As the service rolls out, Target says its team members will be on hand to help shoppers as they fulfill orders.