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Target plans to get into the grocery delivery business

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Target officials say they're going to get into the grocery delivery business.

During the company's annual vendors summit Wednesday, Target's chief marketing officer Jeff Jones said testing of the concept will begin "in the very near future," the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal reports.

Jones didn't offer any details about the upcoming trial run, including where it might take place or exactly when.

But it's another sign the Minneapolis-based retailer wants to keep up with its competitors such as Walmart and Amazon, which are also experimenting with food delivery services, the Business Journal notes.

Several Minnesota grocers such as Kowalski's, Lund's & Byerly's and CobornsDelivers already provide home delivery in the Twin Cities metro area, WCCO notes, so the concept isn't all that new here.

Last year, Target partnered with a startup company in San Francisco to test a curbside pickup service at 11 of its stores in that city.

It's since expanded that service to several stores in New Jersey, according to the Star Tribune.

The grocery delivery service was just one of many topics Target executives discussed with the 700 vendors Wednesday, the Star Tribune notes.

CEO Brian Cornell said the retailer is continuing to focus on increasing online sales and revamping its grocery lineup.

Target said earlier it will expand its natural, organic, locally grown and gluten-free offerings in the hope of making the chain a food destination.

This isn’t good news for the big name food manufacturers, which have seen slumping sales in recent months as consumer tastes shift toward fresh and natural options. That’s led to consolidating and layoffs at some companies, Marketplace reported.

The Star Tribune also said Target is investing $1 billion this year to upgrade its technology and supply-chain infrastructure.

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