Target Announces Baby Item Subscription Service

Target (NYSE:TGT) is taking a stand against Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN). Its battleground of choice: diapers. Well, diapers, formula and any other baby items a new parent might need to buy. The retailer announced a new program Wednesday (Sept. 25) that will let customers subscribe to some 150 baby items that will be delivered to them every 4 to 12 weeks.

It's an idea with plenty of merit on its own, according to the St. Paul Business Journal's Mark Reilly, who explained that new parents are stuck in a buying cycle anyway.

"If you're a new parent, you're basically on a subscription plan whether you like it or not: You're buying diapers this month and next month and on and on," he explained. "So it's only natural that someone would think of closing the loop and formalizing the process."

As he points out, someone did, namely Quidsi when it started Diapers.com and Soap.com. Then Amazon swooped in to buy them in 2010, building up its own subscription services and making itself even more of a pain in the side of large retailers.

Target is certainly not the first to venture into Amazon's subscription territory, either. In fact, as Tech Crunch points out, the chain is relatively late to the party. But online shoppers have only just started to feel really comfortable with digital prescriptions due to services like Amazon Prime and Netflix, so there's plenty of room for growth.

The folks at the bullseye are still not talking too much about those possibilities for growth, saying only that they'll take what they learn from this program and apply it to future plans. Meanwhile, the chain has also launched Target Ticket, a TV and movie on demand service that puts Walmart's Vudu, Netflix and iTunes squarely in its sights. Seems that Target is ready to stare down its competition all over the place.

For more:

- See this TechCrunch story
- See this St. Paul Business Journal story

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