Company / division: Target
Target has stunned its employees by suddenly shutting down two big innovation projects – Recode (Feb 2, 2017)
Amazon got lots of attention around its Amazon Go store concept a few weeks back, though it’s still an extremely limited pilot program. Target, on the other hand, seems to have just killed off its own similar initiative out of nowhere. It’s obviously tempting to view this as some kind of response to Amazon’s moves, but given Amazon’s tiny presence in physical retail it seems far more likely Target simply felt the project wasn’t delivering meaningful results and its innovation budget was best spent elsewhere. Having said that, if physical retailers can’t at least attempt to compete with Amazon in innovating on their home turf, it doesn’t bode well for their ability to stand up to it more broadly.