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Target To Roll Out GenAI Technology For Employees

Target’s new GenAI chatbot, Store Companion, is designed to make team members’ jobs easier through technology.

Minneapolis-based Target Corp. plans to roll out a new generative artificial intelligence (GenAI) tool to team members at all of its almost 2,000 stores by August, becoming the first major retailer to do so in the U.S.

The tool, called Store Companion, is a GenAI-powered chatbot designed by Target that can answer on-the-job process questions, coach new team members and support store operations management.

Store Companion’s goal is to make the teams’ jobs easier and allow them to work more quickly and efficiently, offering faster service and deeper guest engagement to make the shopping experience even better. The initiative is part of Target’s broader strategic approach to using GenAI across its business to empower its team, enhance the guest experience and support the company’s long-term growth.

“We know technology will continue to play an outsized role in the future of retail – for our team members, our guests and our business. With that in mind, we’re continually experimenting with new tools to make it even easier for our team to do their jobs and to bring more of what guests love about shopping at Target to life,” said Brett Craig, EVP and chief information officer, Target.

“The transformative nature of GenAI is helping us accelerate the rate of innovation across our operations, and we’re excited about the role these new tools and applications will play in driving growth.”

How the Store Companion tool works

The Store Companion chatbot will be available as an app on store team members’ specially equipped handheld devices, providing immediate answers to their questions about processes and procedures. For example, employees can input prompts like “How do I sign a guest up for a Target Circle Card?” and “How do I restart the cash register in the event of a power outage?” and receive instructions and resources in seconds. The tool also serves as a store process expert and coach, helping new and seasonal team members learn on the job.

Testing, learning and improving the tool

“Generative AI is game-changing technology, and Store Companion will make daily tasks easier and enable our team to respond to guests’ requests with confidence and efficiency,” said Mark Schindele, EVP and chief stores officer, Target. “The tool frees up time and attention for our team to serve guests with care and to create a shopping destination that invites discovery, ease and moments of everyday joy.”

To develop this resource for its store team members, Target’s in-house technology team used real frequently asked questions and process documents from its store teams across the U.S. The team worked quickly, taking the project from its initial testing phase to planned rollout in six months. Target is piloting the tool at about 400 stores, using the teams’ feedback to improve the experience ahead of the chainwide rollout.

[RELATED: Target Shares Several Changes To Leadership Team]


Early feedback from pilot teams indicates that Store Companion is positively impacting their daily work.

“We’re hearing great feedback from our team about the new app,” said Jake Seaquist, store director at one of the pilot stores in Champlin, Minnesota. “Streamlining day-to-day tasks goes a long way with our team members and adds up to more time spent with guests and a better guest experience across the store.”

Since the pilot began, experienced team members have been sharing their expertise and adding materials to help shape the tool.

In addition to these enhancements, Target will continue testing dozens of additional GenAI technology applications throughout 2024 and beyond. The retailer remains committed to the safe and responsible use of the technology and is focused on building a GenAI ecosystem that will continue to drive its business and enhance the team member and guest experiences while embracing the future of retail.

About the author

Sommer Stockton

Web Editor

Sommer joined The Shelby Report in January 2022 after graduating from Brenau University in Gainesville, GA with a B.A. and M.A. in Communications and Media Studies. Sommer is excited to learn about the grocery industry and share her findings with The Shelby Report's readers!

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