Target is doubling down on a key advantage as it gears up for a holiday-shopping battle with Amazon

  • Target has its sights set on Amazon this holiday season.

  • Reuters reported that the company plans to fulfill 90% of all orders through its store inventory this year.

  • "Our stores are at the center of our digital growth," CEO Brian Cornell told CNBC earlier this month.

Target has placed a bullseye on Amazon this holiday season.

The retail chain isn't just removing the order minimum on the majority of its online purchases for the holidays. Target is also planning to expand its digital-order-fulfillment capabilities within its stores.

According to Reuters, Target currently fulfills 50% of all digital orders through its physical stores, although that number jumped to 70% during the 2017 holiday season. This year, the goal is to fulfill 90% of all online orders with store inventory.

"Our stores are at the center of our digital growth," CEO Brian Cornell told CNBC earlier this month. "They are fulfilling the majority of our online orders. They are center to everything we are doing at Target."

Target's overhaul of its fulfillment strategy has set the stage for a holiday battle with Amazon. And unlike Amazon, Target can rely on its own existing store infrastructure to expand its fulfillment capabilities. It's an advantage that Walmart also shares.

But unlike Walmart, which is sticking to its strategy of offering associates more hours during busier times of the year, Target is following Amazon's lead and boosting its workforce during the holiday rush. This year, Amazon plans to hire 100,000 seasonal employees to work in its fulfillment centers. And Reuters reported that Target will hire 120,000 seasonal workers. 7,500 of those temporary team members will be assigned to "pack boxes in warehouses."

Target's plans for boosting its store fulfillment align with CB Insights analyst Natan Reddy's recent presentation on "Reimagining the Physical Store," which listed Target as one of the retailers transforming its stores into fulfillment centers. According to Reddy, Target will achieve this transition by paring down its inventory "to make space for digital fulfillment."

Target's move to e-commerce is likely the ticket to success in a new era for retail. Business Insider's Mary Hanbury reported that the company, along with competitors like Walmart, Target,Nordstrom, and Kohl's, saw "strong earnings results in the most recent quarter after launching new initiatives to blend e-commerce and in-store shopping."

Currently, a Target shopper can buy products through the retailer's mobile app, drive over to one of the approximately 1,000 stores that provide drive-up services, and have their purchases delivered to their car.

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