Target has halted multiple tech projects, including a store that would feature robots, to improve its existing operations, according to the Star Tribune.
“We recently made some changes to the innovation portfolio to refocus our efforts on supporting our core business, both in stores and online,” Target spokesperson Dustee Jenkins says in the Feb. 1 newspaper article. The Star Tribune reports on the retailer from Minneapolis, where the big box is headquartered.
Target “has killed Goldfish, a secretive e-commerce start-up it green-lighted a year ago, and has shelved a prototype for a robot-infused store of the future that was slated to soon be built,” the Star Tribune says. “The store of the future was a concept Target was exploring to envision how its stores should look and feel several years out as online shopping continues to disrupt the landscape.”
The company isn’t abandoning its pursuit of other tech innovations and recently reopened its Target Open House store in San Francisco, which features new smart products that consumers can test out before deciding to buy.
However, the company’s sales have gone down for the past three quarters and the retailer is “on track to report negative sales for the fiscal year,” the Star Tribune reports. “The decisions to cut projects on the innovations team started in the last couple of weeks after Target issued a pre-earnings announcement warning that holiday sales and profits were weaker than anticipated.”
The retailer is slated to release its 2016 year-end earnings report Feb. 28.