American retail giant, Target, is inviting third party brands and retailers to sell on its website.

The company is opening its e-commerce channel, Target.com, for select brands to sell on an invitation-only basis. Selected brands will be chosen on the basis of strong performing categories, such as sportswear and sneakers, where the is greater customer demand.

Target is aiming to grow its distribution prowess, a different approach from competitor retailers Amazon and Walmart.

Bricks and mortar retailers are often faced with high return rates and hefty shipping costs, but third party selling would bypass some of these expenses. Target's new initiative, called Target +, will see third-party companies responsible for shipping.

"We see this as a long-term opportunity to drive profitable growth," said Rick Gomez, Target chief marketing officer and chief digital officer. "This is intended to be a very curated and select group of products and brands. ... We are reaching out to the brands we want."

This invitation-only approach could also help Target avoid some of the PR blunders that Walmart and Amazon have faced over controversial merchandise ending up on their websites, writes news website CNBC.

Last year Walmart sparked outrage on social media when a third-party seller sold a shirt that read "Impeach 45," referring to President Donald Trump. Walmart eventually pulled the merchandise, however due to the size of their platforms, it is more difficult for companies like Walmart, Amazon and even eBay to monitor all of their third-party sellers.

Article credit: CNBC

 

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