Target’s new AI is aimed at employees

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Target is introducing a new generative artificial intelligence tool aimed at enhancing the efficiency of its store employees and improving the shopping experience for customers. This move places Target among the growing list of retailers leveraging AI to cope with rising labor costs and sluggish sales.

Target announced the rollout of its “Store Companion chatbot,” an app designed for store employees. This chatbot will be available on store-owned handheld devices and is currently being piloted in about 400 stores, with plans for a nationwide rollout to nearly 2,000 locations.

Target is not alone in adopting AI technologies. Major retailers like Amazon, Walmart, and Best Buy have also launched AI tools, including chatbots, to assist both employees and customers. Last December, Target began using AI to help shoppers personalize their online and in-store experiences.

The Store Companion chatbot will assist employees by answering questions related to store operations, such as the Target Circle loyalty program, product locations, and cash register troubleshooting. Brett Craig, Target’s chief information officer, emphasized that the tool aims to empower employees and enhance their interactions with customers.

While the potential for AI systems to replace human workers is a topic of debate, Craig did not directly address this issue. Instead, he focused on the chatbot’s role in improving team efficiency and customer service.

 

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