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Target challenges developers to build its new mobile experience

Developers are challenged to create either a mobile application or mobile-enabled Web design. The grand prize winner will receive $75,000.

“At Target, we are always looking for creative ways to enhance the shopping experience for our guests,” said Eddie Baeb, a spokesman for Target, Minneapolis.

“The Retail Accelerator is a great opportunity to demonstrate our commitment to engaging the developer community to bring innovative ideas to life,” he said.

Mobile acceleration
The Co.Labs & Target Retail Accelerator competition was launched today at South by Southwest at the Fast Co. Grill, where Target is sponsoring several events.

On May, 7 finalists will be selected and awarded $10,000 to develop their prototypes. Then, one grand prize winner will be selected.

Per the rules of the competition, teams and individuals can compete, however they are limited to one submission per individual or team.

Developers competing should address Target’s top priorities, which include social, in-store, personalization or education.

Entrants will be charged with demonstrating their full vision for creating a native mobile application, a mobile-enabled Web experience or a mobile design that can be integrated into Target’s existing apps or mobile services.

“Fast Company’s new technology vertical Co.Labs will cover the Retail Accelerator in the months ahead, and we will also promote the challenge through our sponsorship of the Fast Company Grill outside of SXSW in Austin, TX,” Mr. Baeb said.

Mobile past
Target is no stranger to mobile.

Last year, Target ramped up its holiday efforts with a QR code initiative that let consumers scan the mobile bar codes featured on several products in-store and buy the items via their smartphones (see story).

Most recently, Target launched a limited-run mobile game for its Super Bowl XLVII advertising within its mobile apps and optimized site to connect with consumers through relevant content and promotions (see story).

“Mobile is an important part of Target’s multichannel strategy that’s focused on creating seamless, integrated and personalized experiences for guests that bridge our stores and digital platforms,” Mr. Baeb said.

“Multichannel is a top organizational priority for Target, and we’re committed to growing both our multichannel offerings and our multichannel team,” he said.

Final Take
Rimma Kats is associate editor on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York