Target expands online subscriptions

Target (NYSE:TGT) is expanding the number of items offered through the Target Subscriptions program tenfold, adding more than 1,300 new products.

At the program's launch in September, there were about 150 items that could be ordered on a subscription basis. Today, that number stands at nearly 1,600 items across a much wider array of products.

Target Subscriptions is a replenishment-based service that provides home delivery of larger bulk-sized offerings and allows for continuous replenishment of everyday goods such as household and personal care items.

Shoppers can choose to have these items delivered in regular four to 12-week installments, and Target will send out reminder emails at least 10 days ahead of shipments to allow shoppers to make adjustments if need be. Shoppers who opt to pay with their Target card or Target VISA save an additional 5 percent on their delivery order.

Target's subscription service has become popular and Target officials say the program is expanding much more rapidly than expected, reports the Associated Press. That's no surprise given the popularity of several other subscription-based services, which offer both convenience and cost savings to consumers.

Target Subscriptions goes head to head with Amazon's (NYSE: AMZN) "Subscribe and Save" program, which lets shoppers order a recurring monthly shipment of common household and personal care items. With Amazon's program, shoppers receive free shipping, and discounts of up to 15 percent when they have five or more subscriptions arriving monthly.

The subscription-based retail model has surged in recent years, ever since Birchbox launched its online monthly subscription service in September 2010. Even Walmart (NYSE: WMT) has experimented in this space, with a snack box subscriptions service, Goodies.co, which ultimately folded last fall. Walmart is trying again, however, with February's launch of Sam's Club's "My Subscriptions" which allows shoppers to have repeat-purchase items delivered to their homes automatically with free shipping.

For more:
-See this Target blog post
-See this Associated Press article

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