Target agrees to buy software firm as it chases Amazon online

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Target Corp., looking to improve its digital business amid increased competition from Inc., agreed to acquire a software company that manages local and same-day deliveries.

The discount chain is buying Grand Junction, a San Francisco-based startup that links retailers and other distributors to a network of more than 700 carriers across North America. Grand Junction currently handles the same-day delivery service for Target’s store in Manhattan’s Tribeca neighborhood.
The deal is part of a broader overhaul of logistics operations at Minneapolis-based Target. The company aims to enhance the efficiency and profitability of a web business that has suffered setbacks in recent years, including a data breach, website outages and the departure of digital chief Jason Goldberger in 2016. Though Target’s online sales rose 22 percent in its most recently reported quarter, that was well behind Wal-Mart Stores Inc.’s 63 percent growth.

With Grand Junction, Target could get deliveries to customers faster.

“Speed matters,” Arthur Valdez, Target’s chief supply chain and logistics officer, said in an interview. “Grand Junction’s platform, along with our 1,800 stores, allows for speed to the guest that can be very competitive.”

Terms of the deal, Target’s first acquisition since 2013, weren’t disclosed. As part of the agreement, Grand Junction’s 13 employees will relocate a few blocks to Target’s downtown San Francisco office and set about helping the retailer bring delivery to more areas.

Bloomberg News