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Target Nixes Subscription Service

Target has canceled its subscription service, a foray into bulk discount purchasing launched seven years ago. Through the service, Target customers were able to automatically reorder items in bulk while earning a 5 percent discount, with the items shipped their homes.

But Target recently discontinued the service, with a brief Q&A page notifying customers that they will receive items purchased before the November shutdown. The announcement steered the customers to alternatives such as drive-up, order pick up or same-day delivery.

A spokesperson for Target told Bloomberg News that customers had migrated away from the subscription service to the retail giant’s other delivery and ordering services.

Like many brick-and-mortar and online retailers, Target has shifted significant resources into various delivery and contactless pickup options, as the pandemic has driven more and more shopping activity online.

Target declined to say how much revenue its subscription service was bringing in for the retailer at the time when it was canceled.

“The majority of our subscription guests have shifted away from regular deliveries to enjoy the speed and flexibility of our same-day services,” Target spokeswoman Jacqueline DeBuse told the news service.

Target’s subscription service enabled the bulk ordering of dozens of household staples while also offering the incentive of a significant discount. The initial target was new parents, who predictably run through large quantities of products like diapers, formula and wipes – before Target broadened its focus.

The service was criticized as late as 2017 – four years after its launch – for being more difficult to navigate on mobile devices, even as mobile shopping and payment capabilities were taking off in popularity.

Many other retailers and startups have jumped on the subscription service bandwagon in the past decade, which was considered the cutting edge of eCommerce several years ago.

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