Minneapolis-based Target Corp. upped its game against Walmart and Amazon with the acquisition of same-day delivery service Shipt.
The $550 million acquisition, which the company says is one of the largest in its history, will enable same-day deliveries in early 2018.
In a blog post on the company’s website, John Mulligan, Target’s COO, and Bill Smith, CEO and founder of Shipt, discussed the company’s delivery strategy.
Mulligan said Target customers have been asking for same-day delivery for some time, and Target plans to take advantage of Shipt’s technology platform to make it possible.
“In early 2018, about half of our stores will offer same-day deliveries of groceries, essentials, home, electronics and other products,” he said, in the post. “By the end of 2019, we’ll offer same-day delivery on all the major product categories at Target.”
Smith said Shipt, a membership-based grocery “marketplace” and same-day delivery platform, has expanded to more than 72 markets since it was founded in 2014. Members pay a $99 annual membership fee.
Shipt differs from rivals like Instacart, Smith said, because it offers a more “personalized” experience.
“Our localized network of more than 20,000 shoppers goes above and beyond to make sure our customers are well served,” he said. “For instance, we make sure that the same person who shops for our customers’ items is also the person who delivers those items.”
According to a company announcement, Shipt plans to continue to grow its marketplace with “new and existing partners.” The company currently delivers for grocery retailers like Grand Rapids, Mich.-based Meijer, and San Antonio-based H.E. Butt Co.