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Target to Try In-Store Farming

Here’s an unusual alternative to a garden center or farmer’s market: In-store vertical farms for growing and selling fresh produce.

Target is planning to test vertical farming in some U.S. stores in spring 2017, potentially allowing customers to see how their green vegetables grow and are harvested, according to Business Insider.

“Target is looking to shorten the distance from farm to plate with a planned test of vertical farms, an agricultural technique that involves growing plants and vegetables indoors in climatized conditions,” Forbes reports.

Leaders with the big-box retailer believe “anticipating and shaping the future of food — at Target and beyond — is essential to the company’s growth,” the Business Insider article says.

This year, Target started a project called the Food + Future CoLab in conjunction with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and the in-store vertical farming concept is a fruit of the partnership.

A goal of the project is “to test the technology in a few Target stores to see how involved customers actually want to be with their food,” Business Insider reports.

“Food is a big part of our current portfolio today at Target—it does $20 billion of business for us,” Casey Carl, Target’s chief strategy and innovation officer, says in the article. “We need to be able to see more effectively around corners in terms of where is the overall food and agriculture industries are going domestically and globally.”

 

About Kate Klein

Kate is profiles editor for Hardware Retailing magazine. She reports on news and industry events and writes about retailers' unique contributions to the independent home improvement sector. She graduated from Cedarville University in her home state of Ohio, where she earned a bachelor's degree in English and minored in creative writing. She loves being an aunt, teaching writing to kids, running, reading, farm living and, as Walt Whitman says, traveling the open road, “healthy, free, the world before me.”

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