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Target (TGT) Sharpens Edge, Expands Voice-Activated Shopping

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With digital transformation in shopping and consumers splurging online, store and mall traffic has been hit hard. As a result, most retailers including big-box ones are struggling to compete with e-commerce channels. Nevertheless, this transition in buying pattern has persuaded retailers to come up with innovative ways to market products, and Target Corporation TGT is no exception to the trend.

In a bid to stimulate digital sales this holiday season, Target is strengthening its relationship with Google by allowing customers nationwide to shop through Google Express, including voice-activated shopping. Target informed that customers will get their orders delivered within a couple of days, as the items will be shipped from a nearby outlet. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. WMT and The Home Depot, Inc. HD are also using Google's voice-activated shopping platform.

Target also informed that in the coming year customers shopping via Google Express will be able to use former’s REDcard and avail benefits such as 5% discount and free shipping. Moreover, shoppers will have the convenience of picking their online orders in a Target outlet, where orders are ready in just couple of hours. To enhance shopping experience, consumers will be provided an option to link their Target.com accounts with Google.

No wonder this general merchandise retailer is trying all means to rapidly adapt to the changes in the retail ecosystem. Target recently launched curbside pickup program, at 50 Twin Cities stores. This program gives customers an option to get their ordered items without leaving the comfort of their cars. It has also rolled out Target Restock program that allows customers to restock their shipping box with essential items online and get them delivered at door steps by the next business day for a nominal charge.

The company has also adopted a cost reduction strategy, including rationalization of supply chain, technology and process improvements. Recently, it waged war against other retail big-wigs such as Amazon.com Inc. AMZN, Wal-Mart Stores and Costco Wholesale Corporation COST by aggressively cutting prices on a range of items.

Shares of Target, which carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Hold), have increased 13.1% compared with the industry’s gain of 9.5%. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

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Amazon.com, Inc. (AMZN) : Free Stock Analysis Report
Home Depot, Inc. (The) (HD) : Free Stock Analysis Report
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (WMT) : Free Stock Analysis Report
Target Corporation (TGT) : Free Stock Analysis Report
Costco Wholesale Corporation (COST) : Free Stock Analysis Report
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