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Target takes a page out of Wal-Mart's acquisition playbook, with plans to grow same-day delivery

  • Target announces plans to acquire San-Francisco based Grand Junction.
  • The transportation company is already working with Target on a same-day delivery pilot at the big-box retailer's smaller-format store in New York's Tribeca neighborhood.
  • Target plans to bring same-day delivery to more New York stores this fall, and the offering will hit other major markets in 2018.
Target
Scott Mlyn | CNBC

Target has for the past few months been reinvesting in itself, rolling out its own private-label brands and keeping especially quiet on the acquisition front, with rival Wal-Mart on a buying spree. Until now.

Target announced plans on Monday to acquire Grand Junction, a San-Francisco based transportation technology company whose software manages retailers' local deliveries.

This partnership will allow Target to send packages to guests faster and more efficiently, according to Target's chief supply chain and logistics officer, Arthur Valdez.

"It will... boost our ability to offer new services – like same-day delivery, and even assembly and installation – to our guests," Valdez said in a statement.

Grand Junction had already been working with Target on a same-day delivery pilot at the big-box retailer's smaller-format store in New York's Tribeca neighborhood.

Target said on Monday that it plans to bring the same-day delivery pilot to a few more New York stores this fall. And the offering will hit other major markets in 2018.

Financial details about the acquisition of Grand Junction haven't been disclosed.

Upon the deal's completion, Grand Junction's employees will become Target team members.

"Target is seizing a tremendous opportunity to leverage local delivery as a retail differentiator," Grand Junctionn CEO Rob Howard said in a statement.

Notably, Howard will become vice president of technology at Target.

Target also announced on Monday the addition of two executives, Mark Kenny and Liz Nordlie, to its food and beverage team. Kenny joins Target from Wal-Mart, and Nordlie from General Mills.

Same-day delivery — especially of grocery products — is becoming more and more of a necessary offering for retailers these days, should they want to compete with internet giant Amazon.

Just last week, Office Depot announced it's rolling out a same-day delivery option for shoppers in Atlanta, Los Angeles and the Miami/Fort Lauderdale area, with plans to add more cities to that list by the end of the year.

"Retail is undergoing a rapid transformation," Kevin Moffitt, Office Depot's chief digital officer, said in a statement. "Adding same-day delivery capabilities to our growing in-store pickup and ship-from-store programs allows us to better leverage our retail locations as distribution hubs."

Grocery service Instacart meantime is partnering with retailers like CVS, Costco and Wegmans to deliver items to shoppers the same day an order is placed.

Wal-Mart, the biggest retailer of them all, offers same-day pickup in stores, along with free two-day delivery. Like Target, the big-box retailer has tested same-day delivery in the past.

To be sure, same-day service is a challenge to pull off, hence why many companies are still in the early phases of testing various programs. EBay shuttered its same-day delivery service, eBay Now, back in 2015.

WATCH: Amazon looks to new food technology for home delivery