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In Minnesota, the Star Tribune reports that Target has "gone live" with Target Restock, a new pilot program that charges $4.99 and allows its online shoppers to "select from more than 10,000 baby, beauty, personal care, food, pet and household products and choose as many as can fit into a box about the same size as a shopping cart.

"As shoppers add each item, the website shows shoppers how much more room they have left in the box, which is limited in weight to 45 pounds ... Target is touting the program as a way to provide faster delivery of items in one package. In the process, by encouraging shoppers to buy more items at one time, it also helps the Minneapolis-based retailer make shipping online orders more cost-effective at a time when online shopping has put more pressure on profit margins."

Target says that orders placed by 2 pm will be delivered the next business day. The Restock program is available in several Minnesota communities, and, at the moment, only to holders of Target’s Redcard."
KC's View:
The argument here for some time has been that every company needs to develop an automation and replenishment strategy, in order to effectively compete with Amazon initiatives in this area that are adding $50 million a week to its volume - dollars that are coming from somewhere, never to return.

So kudos to Target on that score. The problem, as I see it, is that the company seems tentative and slow in its approach to innovation ... even as its executives say that they are going as fast as they can. While the story says that Target is "a few years behind Amazon in rolling out such a capability," it also says that "the service is priced for a dollar less and promises faster delivery than Amazon’s counterpart, Prime Pantry." But that doesn't seem like a recipe for luring customers away from Amazon, which it seems to me that it absolutely must do in order to be successful.