Target is considering launching a paid membership programme, known internally as Project Trident, in a bid to stimulate growth and stay competitive with industry giants such as Amazon and Walmart, Bloomberg reported yesterday (7 February).

The programme, which could debut as early as this year, would offer additional benefits beyond Target’s existing loyalty programme, Target Circle, requiring a subscription fee. 

Potential benefits and challenges

While Target Circle already provides users with deals and rewards, the proposed programme aims to deepen customer loyalty and generate extra revenue streams.

Incorporating services such as Shipt, the grocery-delivery arm acquired in 2017, may further enhance the membership’s appeal.

According to Bloomberg, despite facing declining sales and recent controversies, Target’s stock saw a 2.4% increase following news of the potential membership launch.

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Late entry into the market

Although entering the paid membership arena later than its competitors, Target hopes to leverage the programme to drive online and in-store sales.

The success of similar initiatives by rivals, including Amazon’s Prime and Walmart’s Walmart+ underscores the potential of such programmes.

However, the company must carefully consider pricing and perks to attract subscribers in a market already saturated with options.

Competition and pricing considerations

Amazon Prime, with more than 200 million members, and Walmart+, which launched in 2020, offer various perks, including free delivery and discounts. Kroger’s Boost programme, introduced in 2022, has also seen success.

Pricing models vary, with Amazon charging $14.99 monthly or $139 annually for Prime while Walmart+ offers plans starting at $12.95 monthly or $98 annually. Target’s pricing strategy will be crucial in attracting subscribers and competing effectively in the market.

Target’s exploration of a paid membership programme signals a strategic shift aimed at driving revenue and customer loyalty.

As the company navigates the competitive landscape, the success of Project Trident hinges on offering compelling benefits while ensuring affordability for potential subscribers.