In a move that will help it counter Amazon’s growing Prime Now footprint, Target announced plans to acquire transportation management software firm Grand Junction to expand its same-day delivery capabilities. And a former Amazon supply chain executive is helping Target get there.
Grand Junction, which gives shippers access to a network of 700 domestic carriers, also enables them to determine the fastest, most efficient local delivery methods. It has already been working with Target on a same-day delivery test from a store in the TriBeCa section of Manhattan to other parts of the metropolitan area. Details of the deal, which is expected to close soon, were not disclosed.
Target said it will expand the service to other parts of New York City this fall and to other urban markets in 2018.
“Our team is excited about the opportunity to continue our work with Target on same-day delivery service, and for the software platform we created to be a real differentiator for Target throughout its entire network of stores and distribution facilities,” said Rob Howard, CEO of Grand Junction, in a blog post.
Arthur Valdez, Target’s executive vice president, chief supply chain and logistics officer, said in the blog that the Grand Junction acquisition is part of the company’s supply chain and logistics transformation process, enabling greater speed and convenience and new offerings for customers.
“Whether guests shop online or in a store, they expect to get products quickly and on their terms,” said Valdez, who was hired away from Amazon in May. “With this acquisition, Target will have immediate access to Grand Junction’s technology and carrier network, which will accelerate the work we’re doing to improve our speed of delivery. It will also boost our ability to offer new services – like same-day delivery, and even assembly and installation – to our guests.”
Valdez told the Minneapolis Star Ledger that a new Target distribution center in Perth Amboy, NJ will help it service the New York area using a faster, real-time replenishment model.
Asked about tapping Grand Junction’s platform beyond same-day delivery, Target spokesman Eddie Baeb said “We certainly plan to leverage (it) for different last-mile services, but there are no particulars at this time.”
Target has been working on same-day delivery in different ways since 2014. It recently began testing an app-based curbside pickup service in its own backyard of Minneapolis, MN, after scuttling a test in 2016 with provider Curbside.
MCM Musings: This is the kind of deal that was bound to happen, given the huge expense of the last mile, the hyper-competitive environment and rising demand for rapid delivery services in urban areas. It seems only natural that other retailers will follow suit with similar moves. Bringing Grand Junction onboard should help Target trim supply chain costs both through the breadth of its network and its optimization software.