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Target to Scrap Tech-Focused Strategy

Target to Scrap Tech-Focused Strategy

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - As the entire retail industry seems to be shifting its collective focus to tech and e-commerce, Target’s latest announcement looks to lead the company in precisely the opposite direction. According to The Minneapolis Star Tribune, sources familiar with the matter say that Target has revealed it will drop its secret “Goldfish” tech project, as well as shift its focus from innovation back towards its current business.

Following weaker-than-expected holiday sales and lower-than-average store traffic, this change of strategy will bring the company back to what the sources refers to as its “core business.” This means dropping, “Goldfish,” which launched in March of 2016 with the impetus of “disrupting the way people shop.” Founder of Goldfish, alum of Amazon and Paypal, West Stringfellow, had been tasked with making sure the retailer remains vital in an increasingly tech-savvy market, Consumerist reports.

Dustee Jenkins, Senior Vice President of Communications, Target“At Target, we regularly pause to evaluate our business and have to make tough choices about where our company is best served to invest our time and resources,” Dustee Jenkins, Target’s Senior Vice President of Communications, explained to the Star Tribune. “We recently made some changes to the innovation portfolio to refocus our efforts on supporting our core business, both in stores and online, and delivering against our strategic priorities.”

Target had been focusing on several other tech investments in the recent past, and the sources said they may be on the table for cuts as well. As we’ve previously reported, Target had begun hosting a tech-focused incubator in its Minneapolis headquarters, fostering ten teams of startups in the 8,000-square-foot space. The company has also doubled down with recent investments in robotics. 

Brian Yarbrough, Analyst, Edward Jones“I do think they have to innovate,” Brian Yarbrough, Analyst with Edward Jones, shared with the Star Tribune. “But their bread and butter is still brick-and-mortar retail stores. They have to get that right and find ways to drive more traffic to the stores.”

What will this mean for Target’s bottom line in the face of Amazon and Walmart’s recent big tech announcements? Keep following ANUK for the latest.