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Target to launch paid membership program on April 7; to compete with Amazon, Walmart

Target is offering the subscription at a promotional rate of $49 a year until May 18, after which the price will increase to $99 annually.

Target Corp

At the investors meet on Tuesday, American retail corporation Target announced it is launching Target Circle 360, a premium paid membership program, on April 7. With this launch, that is designed to rival Amazon Prime and Walmart+, the company seeks to explore new revenue streams amid declining sales.

Reflecting on the strategic move, the company’s chairman and chief executive officer Brian Cornell expressed optimism about the program’s potential to meet consumer demands for convenience and personalized shopping experiences. “We’ll also roll out fresh innovations, including our new Target Circle membership program, as part of our roadmap for growth aimed at meeting consumers where they are, reigniting sales, traffic and market share gains, and positioning Target for profitable growth in 2024 and beyond,” Cornell stated in a letter to investors.

Talking about perks, Target Circle 360 will offer unlimited free same-day delivery on orders over $35, free two-day shipping, exclusive partnerships, and product offerings. The delivery service will be powered by Shipt, a company Target acquired in 2017.

The launch is a rather late but noteworthy evolution from its free loyalty program, Target Circle, which debuted in 2019. The paid membership aims to offer a more personalized experience with automatic discounts and tailored deals. Additionally, the company will rebrand Target RedCard credit and debit cards to Target Circle that will grant customers an extra 5% off purchases.

The company is offering the subscription at a promotional rate of $49 a year until May 18, after which the price will increase to $99 annually. However, Target Circle credit card holders will continue to enjoy the discounted rate of $49.

Meanwhile, the company’s decision to launch a paid membership program comes as a response to a challenging retail environment marked by declining sales. By adopting strategies similar to those of Amazon and Walmart, Target aims to generate additional revenue and boost its sales performance. Amazon Prime, launched in 2005, reportedly boasts over 200 million members worldwide, while Walmart+, introduced in 2020, has also seen its membership grow significantly.

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