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Target Launches GenAI Tool for Associates

New ‘Store Companion’ added to worker devices to answer questions, guide solutions and provide coaching
Lynn Petrak, Progressive Grocer
Target AI device
Target team members have a new coach – and it's on their mobile device.

Target is scaling up its internal use of AI to enhance employee productivity and engagement, along with customer service. The retailer announced this week that it is launching a GenAI tool called Store Companion that can answer questions on the job, train new associates and support store operations management.

The technology is available on an app installed on employees’ specially equipped handheld devices. Target’s tech team used FAQs and process documents from its store teams around the country to develop the program. Potential prompts include common queries like “How do I sign a guest up for a Target Circle Card” and “How do I restart the cash register?”

Currently testing in 400 stores and expanding to other Target locations by the end of summer, the GenAI-powered chatbot  is designed to make team members’ jobs easier and enhance customer experiences, company officials said. 

[RELATED: How Tech Is Fueling Growth at Walmart]

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"We know technology will continue to play an outsized role in the future of retail — for our team members, our guests and our business. With that in mind, we're continually experimenting with new tools to make it even easier for our team to do their jobs and to bring more of what guests love about shopping at Target to life," asserted Brett Craig, EVP and chief information officer. "The transformative nature of GenAI is helping us accelerate the rate of innovation across our operations, and we're excited about the role these new tools and applications will play in driving growth.

According to Target, early employee response has been positive. "We're hearing great feedback from our team about the new app," reported Jake Seaquist, store director at a pilot location in Champlin, Minn. "Streamlining day-to-day tasks goes a long way with our team members and adds up to more time spent with guests and a better guest experience across the store."

The retailer continues to embrace AI across its business. Later this year, Target intends to introduce another internal GenAI tool for employees at its Minneapolis headquarters. In a consumer-facing way, the retailer has used GenAI to power search capabilities and product pages to enable shoppers to discover and buy more relevant products. 

Minneapolis-based Target Corp. is No. 7 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2024 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America, with nearly 2,000 locations. PG also included the company on its Retailers of the Century list.

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