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Good news for retail-focused startups in the Bay Area: Target has followed in the footsteps of Wal-Mart, opening a "Technology Innovation Center" in San Francisco on Friday. It will serve as an incubator for Target's mobile app, online search and social media development. The company hopes a presence in SF and near Silicon Valley will help forge partnerships with startups that will improve their online and mobile commerce.
The 20-person operation is located on the third floor of the historic Folgers Coffee headquarters and is Target's first corporate outpost in the Bay Area. The new head of the tech center hails from the competition: David Newman spent six years at Wal-Mart's online business, and said the company is exploring "augmented reality," which would give shoppers a digital view of store aisles and show them related products on their mobile phones, according to Reuters.
Target is already partnering with Amazon and eBay to test out same-day delivery, and it recently began using its employees as guinea pigs to test ordering products online and picking them up in-store—look for that service to be available to customers in the fall.
· Target Dives Into E-Commerce With SF Tech Lab [Contra Costa Times]
· Target [Official Site]
· Target opens an e-retailer technology center [Internet Retailer]
· Touch this furniture at City Target SF [Racked SF]