In the heated retail market-share battle, meeting the increased demands of consumers who want to get their purchases right away has become a must-have for major retailers from Amazon to Walmart. The latest evidence: Target is buying a startup whose technology services same-day delivery needs.
Target on Monday agreed to buy San Francisco-based Grand Junction, which offers a marketplace that connects retailers, distributors and third-party logistics providers with a network of more than 700 carriers. Grand Junction claimed on its website that it’s the only platform for managing and offering both same-day and local delivery in every North American market.
Target and Grand Junction weren’t just walking into the marriage cold. Target has used Grand Junction’s technology to help it introduce a same-day delivery pilot service in June in its store in New York's Tribeca neighborhood where in-store purchases could be delivered on the same day for a fee.
Customers, whether shopping online or in store, “expect to get products quickly and on their terms,” said Arthur Valdez, Target’s executive vice president, chief supply chain and logistics officer and a former Amazon executive, said in a Target blog post. This acquisition “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.”
Grand Junction CEO Rob Howard said in the blog post that its technology allows retailers to “determine the fastest, most efficient method for local deliveries” as well as gives them “visibility of deliveries" and allows them to “track carrier performance.”
For now, Grand Junction’s technology is an in-store play. Target will use Grand Junction’s platform to expand its same-day delivery pilot to a few more New York-area stores this fall before expanding the service to more major cities next year.
Target eventually also will look at using Grand Junction’s know-how to service same-day delivery needs for online orders, spokesman Eddie Baeb said in an interview. Grand Junction's technology, currently used by other retailers including CVS and Office Depot, will become exclusive to Target even though the company plans to fulfill its contractual obligations to all of its existing customers, Baeb said.