The news: Target plans to spend $100 million to expand its network of sortation centers to speed up and lower the cost of delivering online orders.
The strategy: The sortation centers are part of Target’s “stores-as-hubs” strategy in which it uses employees in its roughly 2,000 stores to pick and pack the vast majority of its online orders. For example, 96.8% of the retailer’s ecommerce orders were fulfilled via a store in fiscal Q3.
A long-term bet: Target is making a long-term bet on ecommerce sales growth even though its online sales decelerated last year and it is currently struggling with a glut of inventory and slowing sales.
Growing competition: Target’s push to speed up delivery stems in part from growing competition from many retailers such as Amazon, which recently expanded the reach of its Buy with Prime service that allows other merchants to leverage the retail giant’s fulfillment network to offer shoppers free delivery (as fast as the next day) and easy returns.
The big takeaway: Target is demonstrating confidence in its strategy, despite several near-term headwinds.
Go further: Read our report The Future of Last-Mile Delivery, which explores the role of companies such as Instacart and DoorDash in helping retailers compete on delivery.
This article originally appeared in Insider Intelligence's Retail & Ecommerce Briefing—a daily recap of top stories reshaping the retail industry. Subscribe to have more hard-hitting takeaways delivered to your inbox daily.