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Target_1_0_0.png Bill Wilson
The tool, called Store Companion, uses a chatbot designed by Target that can answer on- the-job process questions.

Target rolls out AI tool for store workers

Store Companion designed to help employees solve process challenges

Target said it plans to roll out a new generative artificial intelligence (GenAI) tool to workers at all of its nearly 2,000 stores by August.

The tool, called Store Companion, uses a chatbot designed by Target that can answer on-the-job process questions, help with training, and perform other functions, the company said. The retailer has been piloting Store Companion at about 400 stores ahead of the chainwide rollout.

Although GenAI has been employed in a wide range of retail functions, Target appears to be the first major retailer to deploy a GenAI tool for use by store workers nationwide.

The company said the tool will be available as an app on employees’ specially equipped handheld devices. It will be able to provide answers to questions about processes and procedures, such as how to help customers sign up for a Target Circle Card or how to restart a cash register after a power outage. It will also help new and seasonal workers learn on the job, the company said.

“We know technology will continue to play an outsized role in the future of retail,” said Brett Craig, executive VP and chief information officer of Target. “The transformative nature of GenAI is helping us accelerate the rate of innovation across our operations.”

The company built Store Companion by examining at the most common questions that workers have asked, and it has been fine-tuning the tool based on feedback from early store deployments.

Target said it plans to roll out another internal GenAI tool in the coming months, starting with its headquarters workers.

According to a recent report from technology giant Oracle, retailers have been using GenAI in various ways, including to help in employee training and familiarizing new and seasonal employees with product descriptions.

The report also cited additional opportunities for GenAI in retail such as assisting with marketing and customer service messaging, creating product descriptions for ecommerce websites, and synthesizing data analytics, among others.

Target said it has also been using GenAI to support its digital experience for consumers, such as by curating searches and surfacing relevant product information. The company said it will continue testing “dozens of additional GenAI applications throughout 2024 and beyond.”


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