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Target improves online subscriptions, hopes you'll drop Amazon for monthly shipments

Sarah Silbert

Despite some major (and very public) security setbacks these past few months, Target's been hard at work positioning itself as a viable Amazon competitor. In September, the retailer introduced an online subscriptions pilot as an answer to Amazon's "Subscribe and Save" service, offering 200 or so items available for shipping in installments of four to 12 weeks. Now, Target's improving two of the major weaknesses of that program, increasing the number of products eligible for subscriptions to 1,500 and adding in the incentive of discounts.

Unlike Amazon's program, Target's subscription service didn't originally offer extra savings to customers signing up for product subscriptions -- though it has always offered free shipping and a 5 percent discount to those paying with a Target card. Now, you'll get a 5 percent discount on all subscription orders, and certain products will carry additional price cuts on a promotional basis. Amazon, it's worth noting, offers up to a 15 percent discount when you order five or more subscriptions per month. Still, especially for customers with a store debit or credit card, Target's offering is starting to look pretty appealing.

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