News Feature | September 5, 2017

Target Reportedly Opts Out Of Amazon AWS Cloud Services

Christine Kern

By Christine Kern, contributing writer

Amazon Collectible Coins

Are retailers joining forces to unseat Amazon?

In a concerted move to stop fueling its rival’s ambitions, Target is scaling back on its use of Amazon’s AWS cloud services unit, according to CNBC. Target is looking for other cloud services providers as well as investing in its own internal services in order to move away from its reliance on Amazon.

According to The Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal, in a blog post last year Target hinted at an in-house approach to its cloud services needs when it discussed Spinnaker, an open-source cloud-services system developed by Netflix.

Microsoft, Google, and Oracle are all hoping to leverage this opportunity at Target, which also appears to be utilizing a hybrid cloud strategy for its workloads. As Amazon continues to hedge into categories that have long been strongholds of Target – including groceries and apparel – it is understandable that Target would be eager to find ways to undercut its competitor.

Walmart is also reportedly pressuring its suppliers to avoid doing tech business with AWS, telling them they must run their applications with another provider if they want to do business with Walmart. Amazon’s recent purchase of Whole Foods has created something of a tipping point for retailers and cloud services.  In June, Walmart reportedly told some of its tech vendors to stop using cloud apps that run on AWS, and while an Amazon spokeswoman called the move an attempt to “bully” vendors, it appears that other large retailers are ready to leave Amazon’s cloud, according to CNBC.

In an interview posted on Target’s web site last year, CIO Mike McNamara said “To me, there’s no question that technology and supply chain are the new battlegrounds for retail. The retailers with the strongest technology and supply chain will have the best chance of winning.”

In a statement, a Target spokeswoman told CNBC it doesn't discuss vendor relationships but said, "we currently use multiple cloud service providers and will continue to do so." Amazon didn't comment.