MINNEAPOLIS — Target Corp. is adding three new sortation centers in the next year to speed deliveries for shoppers in the greater Chicago and Denver metro areas.
The centers (two in Chicago, one in Denver) will also allow employees to work more efficiently and lower shipping costs, according to a post on the company’s website.
Target said that the company’s six existing sortation centers already help the retailer provide a better experience for customers, and three more will build on that.
The retailer calls the sortation centers “the next phase in our stores-as-hubs strategy,” saying they allow Target to create operational efficiencies while increasing speed of delivery.
Target noted that its digital sales surged by nearly $13 billion between 2019 and 2021, and that virtually all (95%) of the merchandise purchased by Target customers online is fulfilled in the company’s stores.
“But rather than team members managing packing and sorting packages in a store’s backroom, sortation centers take on the sorting process, saving our store teams time and space so they can fulfill more orders and reach guests faster at a lower delivery cost for us,” according to the post. “Plus, sortation centers allow our teams to easily scale to fulfill a growing number of orders, and consolidating orders and batching deliveries add ease for our carriers. And we do it all while staying focused on serving our guests no matter how they choose to shop with us.”
With the help of more than 2,000 Shipt drivers using their own vehicles, the company’s inaugural sortation center, in Minneapolis, is capable of delivering “tens of thousands” of packages a day, Target said. Packages are picked up from the retailer’s 43 stores in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area twice daily and sorted at the center for pickup by the drivers.
“Now, we’re going one step further, working with Shipt to pilot the use of large-capacity delivery vehicles in Minneapolis,” the company said. “The vehicles can hold up to eight times more packages per route, adding more flexibility to deliver even faster and make room for growing order sizes. And it’s just the start: We’ll continue to test and improve, with plans to scale in the years to come.”
Target said it is not stopping at nine sortation centers, but will invest in additional facilities in new markets in the coming years.