Amazon may make a bigger move into physical stores this year, according to one analyst.
Loup Ventures’ Gene Munster is predicting the internet e-commerce company will buy Target in 2018.
“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 post on Monday. “As for the demographic, Target’s focus on mom[s] is central to Amazon’s approach to win wallet share.”
Munster was an influential technology analyst with Piper Jaffray for 21 years before co-founding venture capital firm Loup at the start of last year.
Munster said Amazon has “aggressively pursued” the family market with promotions for kid-friendly video content. In addition, an acquisition of Target will increase the company’s store count to roughly 2,300 stores, which will allow it to compete with Walmart‘s nearly 12,000 store footprint, according to the analyst.
Amazon closed its $13.7 billion acquisition of Whole Foods Market in August.
“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,” he wrote.
Amazon shares rose 56 percent in 2017 versus Target stock’s 10 percent decline.
Target shares rose 1 percent in premarket trading Tuesday. Amazon and Target did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
— CNBC’s Patricia Martell contributed to this story.