How Target are using AI to manage holiday supply demand

North American retail giant Target is explaining how it is using AI to help cope with Christmas shopping season demand

The retailer has nearly 2000 stores in the US, and has 59 supply chain facilities around the country to help meet the national demand.  Target’s global supply chain, procurement and logistics teams have been using new tools and sizable investments across the network to prepare for the season. 

AI tools 

They have enhanced inventory management operations this year with new technology, including machine learning and artificial intelligence to better forecast anticipated store replenishment needs and to improve visibility to inventory flowing through the supply chain. Target has introduced AI tools to help forecast guest demand for specific products in stores and online, ensuring they can get the right inventory to the right places at the right time.

Target has been working closely with merchant, vendor and transportation partners to stay well stocked on all the in-demand holiday products, with an estimated 150,000 trailers of product slated to ship to stores this holiday season.

“Our supply chain team has planned and prepped all year to ensure guest orders arrive on time and accurately this holiday season. Each package we process is an opportunity to deliver cheer to the doorsteps of our guests — and it’s a responsibility we approach with great care. I’m so thankful for all the work our teams continue to do to ensure an extraordinary guest experience during the holidays and beyond,” says Gretchen McCarthy, executive vice president and chief supply chain and logistics officer, Target.

Target say they are delivering holiday packages the next day to even more guests thanks to investments across their sortation centre network which currently with 10 facilities open across the US  and Target Last Mile Delivery capabilities. It demonstrates not only the success of their hyper-local and regional supply chain strategy but also their ability to deliver everything guests need quickly and easily. 

Quadruple their daily package volumes

This holiday season, Target expects to:

  • Deliver more than 9 million packages from sortation centres to guests — with many arriving the next day. Currently, up to 40% of Target Last Mile Delivery orders are delivered by the next day, and they expect this share to grow as they expand their sortation centre network.
  • Quadruple their daily package volumes to approximately 30,000 packages per day at each sortation centre — processing about 1,500 packages per hour.

“Our team is ready to make the holidays bright for millions of guests with easy and convenient shopping options that have the perfect gift ready in store, at curbside or at your front door. A huge thank you to every team member for bringing the best of Target to our guests at this magical time of year,” says Mark Schindele, executive vice president and chief stores officer, Target.

Holiday season shopping at Target Credit: Target



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