Analyst predicts Amazon will buy Target in 2018

(KGTV) - Amazon's strong influence on the retail landscape could increase in 2018 with the acquisition of retail giant Target, according to an industry analyst.

Gene Munster, co-founder of Loup Ventures, released his "8 tech predictions for 2018" and the last item on his list has created a buzz on Wall Street and throughout the retail industry.

Munster wrote:

Amazon will acquire Target. We saved our boldest 2018 prediction for last, Amazon acquiring Target. Getting the timing on this is difficult, but seeing the value of the combination is easy. Amazon believe’s 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. As for the demographic, Target’s focus on mom’s is central to Amazon’s approach to win wallet share. Amazon has, over the years, aggressively pursued mom’s through promotions around Prime along with loading Prime Video with kid-friendly content. As for retail stores, Amazon’s acquisition of Whole Foods 470 stores along with testing of the Amazon Go retail concept is evidence that Amazon see’s the future of retail as a combination of mostly online and some offline. Despite gaining Whole Foods, Amazon’s ~470 store presence still dwarf’s Walmart at 11,695 (global). If Amazon acquires Target’s that would jump its store count to about 2,300. As for anti-trust, the Trump administration won’t do any favors for Jeff Bezos, but the market share numbers suggest the deal will be approved. Walmart will reach about $315B in U.S. sales in 2017 (total 2017 Walmart is expected to be $500B, up 2.6% y/y), and Amazon North American ($105B in 2017 up 31% y/y) and Target ($71B, up 2.4% YoY) would equal about $176B in U.S. revenue. Looking at the top 18 U.S. retailers (including grocery), Walmart has about 23% share and an Amazon/Target combination would have about 13% share. Lastly, Amazon can afford Target. If you assume they pay a 15% premium to the current TGT trading level would imply a take-out valuation of $41 billion, about 8% of the value of Amazon’s current $564 billion market cap.

According to Bloomberg, Target may not be the only company Amazon has its eyes on. Several analysts, Bloomberg reported, believe Lululemon, Abercrombie & Fitch and Bed Bath & Beyond are among the companies Amazon may have some interest in down the road.

Amazon officials have not responded to the reports.

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