Target is still working on its fresh groceries revamp


The big shift with Target's grocery section is chugging along, though not without some bumps in the road.

On Wednesday, Reuters reported Target is looking at outside companies to help fix shortage issues with its fresh food supplies.

Basically, Target doesn't have a consistent or reliable way to get fresh food into its stores, Reuters says – so the company could potentially work with someone else who already has the shipping, manufacturing and distribution side of things set up.

A possible option is Target teaming up with a supplier such as Minnesota-based SuperValu, one analyst told Reuters.

MPR, in a September story, said stocking has been a problem across the board at Target (the CEO said as much a few months ago), but is particularly bad in the food section. And if shoppers see empty shelves, they could go elsewhere for their groceries, an analyst told MPR.

And there's cost. The City Wire, citing a Raymond James & Associates’ report in October, said a basket of brand items at Wal-Mart was about $5.72 cheaper than if you'd bought those same items at Target.

Grocery shift is slow-going

The Reuters report comes about eight months after Target said it would shift away from the processed, boxed foods its long given serious shelf space to, in favor of fresh-feeling options that are favored by Millennials and Hispanics – more organic and gluten-free products, and items such as granola, yogurt and craft beer.

Just last month, the Star Tribune took a look at how that undertaking was going – and found it's gone much slower than expected. The retailer wanted to have a lot of the new things in place by 2016, but the timeline's been pushed back an entire year now, the paper says.

But the company isn't idle. Just a few weeks ago, Target announced it's teaming up with MIT – yes, that MIT – and global design firm IDEO to start taking a look at food in the modern age, Fortune reported. That includes urban farming possibilities, the supply chain, and "food transparency."

It's also testing healthier "fast-casual" dining options at some of its stores (including three in Minnesota). So instead of pizza and hot dogs, you'll see options from D'Amico & Sons and Freshii.

It's also experimenting with grocery delivery.

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