Saturday, February 25, 2017

Target shutters two big innovation projects...

Recode reports that following a disappointing holiday season, Target has decided to cut two of its most ambitious long-term projects before they even got off the ground.

One of the projects was dubbed the “Store of the Future” and consisted of a team building out a prototype for a small-format Target store that would be part showroom and part warehouse, complete with robots picking items behind the scenes to have ready for customers as they checked out.

The store was also expected to more closely integrate Target’s e-commerce offerings and include space for more experiential activities like classes and meet-ups.The Store of the Future was likely to open this year, so the decision to ax it completely blindsided leaders working on the project, according to two sources. Target CEO Brian Cornell was said to be excited about the initiative, making the shutdown even more shocking, these people said.

The other project was an internal startup called Goldfish that was building a software platform that would have the potential to someday become an open marketplace on which retailers other than Target might list goods for sale, sources said. In the near term, Target was set to first use the platform itself for a fashion site that had a social media feel. The leader of this project, former PayPal exec West Stringfellow, has told people he and his staff have been let go from the company, despite the fact that the project was set to launch next month.