Target opens tech outpost in Sunnyvale

Target has opened a small tech hub in Sunnyvale, not far from a major tech outpost of its archrival, Wal-Mart.

The Minnesota-based retail giant unveiled the 7,000-square-foot office during an open house Monday, according to the Minneapolis Star-Tribune.

Target’s new office will consist of 15 to 20 workers for now, with the possibility of expanding to as many as 70, a company spokesman told the Star-Tribune. The hub’s focus will be on online and mobile data analytics and engineering, and will be separate from Target’s Technology Innovation Center, which opened in San Francisco last year.

Target is playing catch-up in the e-commerce game, but its new digs will be within spitting distance of @WalmartLabs, the retail behemoth’s 500-person office for innovation and e-commerce development, which opened in Sunnyvale in February. Wal-Mart’s 1,000-employee online headquarters is just up the freeway in San Bruno. In the past year, Wal-Mart has significantly beefed up its online presence, and Monday announced online sales were up 30 percent year-over-year.

Target is putting a new focus on tech innovation in the wake of last year’s disastrous data breach, which cost CEO Gregg Steinhafel his job. In April, Target named a new top tech executive, and Pepsi executive Brian Cornell was named CEO last week. Target on Tuesday lowered its quarterly forecast, due largely to fallout from the data breach and intense pricing competition from Wal-Mart and, to a lesser extent, Amazon.

 

At top: File photo by DON EMMERT/AFP/Getty Images

 

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