Amazon buying Target? Not likely in 2018

Check back in 364 days for a full evaluation of all the predictions for 2018 but — spoiler alert — most of them will be wrong.

Probably included on that list is Loup Ventures’ Gene Munster, an analyst who predicts Amazon will buy Minneapolis-based Target this year.

“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,” Munster wrote in a note with his predictions this week. “As for the demographic, Target’s focus on mom[s] is central to Amazon’s approach to win wallet share.”

The post was full of good reasons why Amazon would want Target, but nothing much to justify why Target would want to throw in with Amazon. And by “nothing much” I actually mean “nothing at all.”

In time, maybe Amazon will be successful at killing off retail, but it’s not likely to happen in 2018, at least not until Target takes on Amazon head-on, which last month’s deal to buy a same-day delivery service indicates is happening.

Target bought Shipt for $550 million and while it’s unlikely Target can out-Amazon Amazon, a company doesn’t throw a half-billion dollars away if it considers selling out to Amazon a possibility within the next 12 months.

“The fact that Target will have this service in place during 2018 will significantly improve its online competitive position,” Charlie O’Shea, chief retail analyst for Moody’s, tells CNN. “This is yet another example of a brick-and-mortar retailer leveraging its physical assets to improve its online offerings.”

Not that the gamblers aren’t taking a chance on the possibility. Shares of Target stock is up 3.5 percent today.