PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — It’s sheer speculation, but one technology analyst is stirring up a buzz with his prediction that Amazon will buy Target in 2018.
On Monday, Gene Munster from Loup Venture wrote, “Amazon believes the future of retail is a mix of mostly online and some offline. Target is the ideal offline partner for Amazon for two reasons, shared demographic and manageable but comprehensive store count.”
Both Amazon and Target told KDKA money editor Jon Delano that they had no comment on Munster’s prediction.
The acquisition of Target, if it happens, would follow Amazon’s recent $13.7 billion purchase of Whole Foods.
While the latter mostly focuses on food and produce, Target would give Amazon a retail footprint to compete against arch-rival Walmart.
Walmart with 12,000 stores would still have many more outlets than the Amazon-Target combination with 2,300 stores.
The idea took Target shoppers by surprise.
“I shop on Amazon and I shop at Target, so I don’t know,” said Gia Tebbs, of Observatory Hill. “I feel like Amazon is really cornering the market on everything right now.”
“I don’t feel super strongly either way. I know that monopolies are never something that you want, but I think Amazon has done a pretty good job of keeping prices competitive,” said Michelle Wilson, of Ross.
One shopper liked the idea of Amazon taking on Walmart.
“I’m all for that. So if that works, great. I’m not a Walmart kind of gal,” said Patti Cervone, of Observatory Hill.
As for when this might happen, if it does, Munster said, “Getting the timing on this is difficult, but seeing the value of the combination is easy.”
But it’s not at all clear that Amazon and Target agree.