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04/15/2021

Target tests new process for faster order delivery

Dan Berthiaume
Senior Editor, Technology
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Target Corp. is piloting a new sortation center that streamlines the process of fulfilling digital orders from stores.

The discount giant is testing a facility in its home city of Minneapolis that relieves stores of the responsibility for sorting local digital orders. Target uses a store-to-hub digital fulfillment model that has store associates in the back room continually processing digital orders.

In the Minneapolis pilot, Target associates pick and pack digital orders. A Target-controlled truck then collects the packages and brings them to the center, where they are automatically sorted using proprietary technology purchased from Grand Junction and Deliv for individual routes and immediate delivery at the neighborhood level.

The pilot has increased the control, capacity, speed and precision of Target’s store-to-hub digital fulfillment model. The retailer is able to sort packages with fewer touches in less time, and also deliver all items in a customer’s order at once. Target is also now testing how drivers in its Shipt on-demand delivery service can pick up batches of local orders and quickly them deliver directly to customers.

The sortation center is already serving most of Target’s Minneapolis-St. Paul stores, and will serve all metro Minneapolis stores by the end of April, when it will act as a central location to collect and sort local orders for multiple carrier partners to pick up for delivery.

“For years, Target has put our stores at the center of how we serve our guests. Our new sortation center builds on that model by helping us ship online orders with greater speed and lower costs, while making room for future growth,” said Target COO John Mulligan. “By adding Shipt to that operation, we’re now testing how we can reach customers even faster with efficient local deliveries.”