January 12, 2010, 12:00 AM

Target zeros in on its team of e-commerce platform builders

Target is laying the groundwork for the new e-commerce site it plans to launch by the start of the holiday shopping season in 2011—after its decade-long technology and fulfillment services contract with Amazon.com expires next year.

It’s going to be a busy year for Target Corp. as the multichannel retailer lays the groundwork for launching its own e-commerce site by the start of the holiday shopping season in 2011.

Target, No. 20 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide (a PDF version of the company’s financial and operating profile can be ordered by clicking on its name), announced yesterday several of the vendors it has engaged to build Target’s own e-commerce platform. Target announced last year it would move off of Amazon.com Inc.’s e-commerce platform. Amazon, which has provided Target’s e-commerce platform for several years, will continue to support Target.com until the new Target site is launched.

Target will utilize Sapient Corp. as its chief systems integrator and will build the new Internet infrastructure on a WebSphere e-commerce platform from IBM Corp. and database software from Oracle Corp. Endeca Technologies Inc. and Autonomy Corp. will provide applications for site search and content management, respectively, while Sterling Commerce Inc. will supply the site’s order management capability. Huge Inc. will provide web site design and related services.

“We have already made considerable progress in our re-platforming work to transform the Target.com experience and create a strong foundation for further multichannel integration,” says Target.com president Steve Eastman. “We are confident we have selected the right technology partners to ensure that the final design of our new online experience will exceed the high expectations our guests have of Target.com.”

Eastman says Target wants to take more direct control of its e-commerce operations to better serve customers both in its retail stores and online.

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