After two years of development, Target is just about ready to take the wraps off its new Website, hoping to boost sales and catch up to Amazon, Walmart and other giant online retail sites.
It particularly galls Target, we suspect, that Walmart is the sixth-biggest Internet retailer with about $4.4 billion in sales, while Target is a distant 22nd, with $1.33 billion online sales last year.
Amazon.com is, of course, No. 1, with nearly $13 billion last year. And, oddly enough, it's Amazon that has been running Target's site and fillings its orders for the last decade.
So why is Target bringing its Web retailing in-house after a successful run with Amazon?
Basically, it hopes to make Target.com more like being at an actual Target store and less like being at any of a number of online sites, according to Target CEO Gregg Steinhafel.
Steinhafel says the new site will be easier to navigate, will have faster check and, he hopes, encourage more customer loyalty.
It's quite an undertaking. For the last decade, Amazon has run the Target site, operated its warehouses, run the call center and handled all shipping and customer service.
Next week, Target will be throwing the switch -- quite a few switches, actually -- and taking over all those functions itself, no small task. Just to top it off, when the transition is complete, Target will no longer be selling on Amazon.com.