US retailer Target has revealed plans to introduce generative AI (genAI) technology to its team members across 2,000 US stores. 

To be completed by August 2024, the initiative makes Target the first major retailer in the country to introduce this technology. 

Known as Store Companion, the tool streamlines operations and enhances customer service by providing immediate assistance and coaching to staff. 

The genAI-powered chatbot responds to on-the-job queries, supports new team members and assists with store management tasks.  

The chatbot will be accessible via an app on handheld devices issued to store personnel, offering instant answers to procedural questions.  

It also functions as a virtual coach – a particular benefit for new and seasonal employees. 

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The deployment is a key element of Target’s strategy to leverage genAI to empower employees, improve the shopping experience and drive sustainable growth. 

To create this resource, Target’s technology team curated real questions and process documents from its US stores.  

The project progressed from initial tests to the upcoming chainwide launch in only six months.  

The tool is currently in a pilot phase at around 400 stores, with team feedback guiding further enhancements. 

Feedback from the pilot indicates that Store Companion is making a positive difference in daily operations.  

Target executive vice-president and chief information officer Brett Craig said: “We know technology will continue to play an outsized role in the future of retail — for our team members, our guests and our business. With that in mind, we’re continually experimenting with new tools to make it even easier for our team to do their jobs and to bring more of what guests love about shopping at Target to life.  

“The transformative nature of GenAI is helping us accelerate the rate of innovation across our operations, and we’re excited about the role these new tools and applications will play in driving growth.” 

In May 2024 Target announced it will lower everyday regular prices on 5,000 frequently shopped products across its offering.