Will Amazon Add Target to Its Cart in 2018?

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Loup Venture co-founder Gene Munster, a well-known industry analyst, wrote in a new report that he expects Amazon will acquire Target in 2018.

Influential analyst Gene Munster predicted that Amazon (AMZN) would buy Target (TGT) in 2018.

Munster said Target's focus on moms is central to Amazon's approach to win wallet share.

Buying Target would bring Amazon's USA store count to more than 2,300 - about half of Walmart's. Either Target shareholders will need to accept stock in Amazon at a $565 billion valuation or Amazon will have to borrow money to make such a deal work.

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Amazon has not made intentions on buying Target. Still, if it happened, it'd be a pretty bold move for Amazon.

Target stores could act as distribution centers that would help Amazon cost-effectively execute same-day delivery to Prime members, an initiative the e-Commerce giant has been rolling out to a growing number of metro areas and smaller cities.

It's certainly doable, according to GlobalData Retail Managing Director Neil Saunders. Is it gives them not only the demographic that is kind of core to who Amazon is, but also the retail footprint that is important to servicing that 45 percent that eventually will be bought offline. Such a retailer "can put solid infrastructure and operational efficiency along with brand to improve overall value to the customer and profitability to the bottom line", he said.

One shopper liked the idea of Amazon taking on Walmart.

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Prognosticating about Amazon's next deal has become a common theme for analysts. "However, for any acquisition to work, Target needs to bring something to Amazon that Amazon can not achieve itself". As for retail stores, Amazon's acquisition of Whole Foods 470 stores along with testing of the Amazon Go retail concept is evidence that Amazon see's the future of retail as a combination of mostly online and some offline.

But not everyone can see it.

A University of Washington professor believes people should pump the brakes on any talk of Amazon buying Target. "Sounds like a good PR stunt more than anything". Despite gaining Whole Foods, Amazon's ~470 store presence still dwarf's Walmart at 11,695 (global). "If anything, a merger or even a partnership (lockers?) might make more sense given their size, but even that seems pretty far fetched". Amazon spent almost $14 billion in 2017 to buy Whole Foods, and the e-commerce giant should have little trouble putting together financing for a deal that would wind up being more than double that.

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