Target has been playing catch-up with the online giant in that on-demand space, dabbling in next-day delivery in Minnesota and testing same-day delivery at one New York City store.
But if Target's announcement Monday is any indication, the retailer is done flirting with the idea of same-day delivery and is ready to full commit to it.
Target is straight up buying Grand Junction, a San Francisco-based software company. Their main product is a platform that lets a company manage and offer same-day delivery – so it'll connect the company with local carriers, to establish and grow a delivery network.
For Target, this means hitting fast forward on its same-day delivery ambitions. And it means striking back at Amazon sooner rather than later.
"Whether guests shop online or in a store, they expect to get products quickly and on their terms," said Arthur Valdez, Target's executive vice president, chief supply chain and logistics officer, in a company Q&A.
The big jump comes next year
Valdez says Target gets immediate access to Grand Junction's technology and carrier network. So they'll look at offering assembly and installation on orders, in addition to expanding same-day delivery.
Speaking of – Target's plans for same-day delivery are still vague, but the goal is growth. A few more stores in New York City will do pilot programs (which Grand Junction has already helped with), Valdez explained.
Then 2018 is the big jump. Target plans to have same-day delivery in "more major cities" that year, Valdez said.
Which cities? That's not said. But considering Target is headquartered in Minnesota, and is the state's fourth largest employer, you'd have to think Minneapolis and St. Paul would be high on the list.
If it does come to the Twin Cities, it will be the first serious competitor to Amazon's same-day delivery service in the area. Though Target will have a ways to go before it can match Amazon's presence in 5,000 cities and towns across the U.S.
Grand Junction employees, by the way, will become Target employees as part of the deal. And Grand Junction's founder, Rob Howard, will get a vice president of technology title at Target.