Target moves to shore up grocery, improve delivery service

NEW YORK (AP) — Target announced moves Monday aimed at helping it shore up two key areas: groceries and delivery.

To boost its grocery business, the company said it hired executives from rival Walmart and from Cheerios maker General Mills. Target’s grocery section hasn’t been as big a draw for shoppers as the department has been for Walmart.

Mark Kenny, who will join Target from Walmart later this month, will oversee Target’s meat, seafood and deli sections. Former General Mills executive Liz Nordlie will run Target’s privately owned food and beverage brands.

The Minneapolis-based retailer said earlier Monday that it would buy delivery logistics company Grand Junction to help it offer same-day delivery service to in-store shoppers.

Software made by the San Francisco-based company connects retailers with about 700 delivery companies around the country that pick up items from stores or distribution centers and take them to customers.

Expanding delivery and making it faster have been key areas for retailers trying to attract convenience-seeking shoppers. Target and Walmart have adjusted their shipping programs as they try to lure online shoppers away from Amazon.

Target’s move is aimed not at online shoppers, but at making buying an easier decision for in-store shoppers. The company has been working with Grand Junction to test same-day delivery at a New York store. Shoppers there can ask to have heavy bags, a sofa or anything else delivered that day for a fee, that’s calculated based on time and location.

Target plans to expand the service to other New York locations this year, and then bring it to other major cities next year. The company said it eventually plans to use the software to offer faster deliveries for online orders.

Target Corp. did not say how much it will pay for Grand Junction. It said the company will become a part of the company’s technology unit and said Grand Junction will stop working with other retailers when those contracts end.

Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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