Target Picks Razorfish to Work on Troubled Web Storefront

Seattle-Based Shop Beat Out Nearly 10 Other Agencies

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A year after launching a glitchy new website, Target has selected digital agency Razorfish to work on its much-maligned e-commerce business.

The review process began in August when the Minneapolis-based retailer sent out an RFI to as many 10 agencies including SapientNitro, the lead vendor behind Target 's glitchy 2011 site revamp. Now, Ad Age has learned from executives close to the situation that Publicis Groupe 's Razorfish has won the contract.

Requests for comment sent to Razorfish were directed to Target . A Target spokesman said that the assignment does not include a revamp but rather categorizes it as working on e-commerce-related strategy. He noted that Razorfish will not replace any existing partners on Target 's digital roster, including SapientNitro, which he said remains remains Target 's lead e-commerce partner, as well as Deloitte Digital, Olson and IBM.

With the win, Razorfish will help optimize Target .com for the PC, mobile and tablets, as well as mobile apps designed to supplement the in-store experience.

Target has been working with 20 different vendors since it regained control of its online sales from Amazon two years ago.

Last fall, Target relaunched its website (Target .com) to a chorus of user complaints on Facebook and Twitter. Users criticized the site for failing to update their bridal registries and not letting them complete purchases. When Target launched its heavily-publicized Missoni for Target collection in September 2011, the website crashed.

Earlier this year, Razorfish worked with fellow Publicis Groupe agency Digitas to launch Japanese clothing company Uniqlo's U.S. shopping site.

Target is the 19th-largest marketer in the U.S., spending $1.62 billion in 2011. That was a 7.2% increased in U.S. ad spending for the company from 2010 when it spent $1.51 billion.

This story was updated with Target 's statement, which disputed the initial characterization of the work as a "revamp."

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