A day after Target announced the acquisition of transportation technology company Grand Junction, the retailer this morning is expanding its next-day delivery service, Target Restock. Announced this spring, and then opened to select customers in June, the new service is now available in its first markets outside the reach of Target’s Minneapolis headquarters with launches in both Denver, Colorado and the Dallas-Fort Worth area in Texas.
The service itself is similar to Amazon’s Prime Pantry, as it’s also meant to serve as a way to stock up on household essentials – excluding fresh and frozen grocery items – like laundry detergent, cleaners, health and personal care items, pet food, dry goods, diapers, and more.
Also like Prime Pantry, Restock customers are able to fill a box up to 45 pounds, which is then shipped for a flat fee to their home. However, Restock currently charges $4.99 per box, compared with Amazon Prime Pantry’s $5.99. And it doesn’t require an annual membership, like Amazon Prime.
Online shoppers can choose from over 15,000 SKUs of everyday needs – that’s up from the over 8,000 products available when Target was testing the program in May. Orders placed by 2 PM Monday through Friday will be delivered by the following day – also speedier than Prime Pantry, which doesn’t commit to Prime’s two-day delivery schedule.
The Restock service has been tweaked a bit since its first consumer-facing tests, Target also notes. In addition to the expanded array of products, which now includes things like school supplies and baby food, the retailer is introducing Saturday deliveries.
Though unmentioned in Target’s announcement, the retailer has pushed back the deadline for placing Restock orders – it used to be 1:30 PM, in order to receive it the next-day. Now, it’s 2 PM.
Most notably, though, is that Target is making Restock available to all customers where available, where before it was a feature that only Target REDcard holders could use.
That was something the retailer hinted was under consideration, but said would likely come as the service expanded beyond pilot tests. The elimination of this requirement makes Restock a more competitive product, compared with Prime Pantry and various same-day delivery and pickup services, like those from Amazon, Walmart and others.
The expansion comes at a time when competition among major online retailers is heating up. Amazon, which staked its ground on two-day delivery, is now mirroring Walmart’s pickup service model, including with today’s launch of Amazon’s “Instant Pickup Points” around the U.S. – something it needed to put in place, since it doesn’t have a comparable brick-and-mortar footprint in terms of retail stores, unless you count Whole Foods.
Target Restock is still considered a test at this point, though, but it’s not the only thing Target has in the works when it comes to sped-up delivery. With the Grand Junction acquisition, Target is planning to expand further into same-day delivery as well, including delivery of both online orders and in-store sales.