Shoppers from 108 countries visit Target’s international website

What do people around the world want to buy from Target.com?

Apparently, they want baby formula, bar stools, cordless vacuum cleaners, Google Chromecast and high-definition TVs.

At least, those have been some of the top sellers since the Minneapolis-based retailer launched an international website in late October.

A recent post on Target’s company blog provided some interesting stats on the website.

Shoppers in 108 countries, including far-off places like French Polynesia and Azerbaijan, have thus far placed orders at Intl.Target.com.

People from Canada, Hong Kong, England, Mexico and Singapore are making the most orders. (When Target launched the international website, it said it would be available in more than 200 countries and territories.)

In the first weeks after it launched, Target’s home goods department was the top category, but as the holidays have neared, toys have moved into the No. 1 spot. Another fun fact: The cheapest item purchased has been 49-cent erasers. Somebody in Hong Kong bought them.

Target didn’t divulge any details in the blog post about overall sales from the international site, which is run with the help of Borderfree, a firm that works with many retailers to handle the logistics of international shipping.

While Target’s first attempt at international expansion — in Canada — crashed and burned earlier this year with the company pulling the plug on the 133 stores it opened there, the international website has been seen as a way for the retailer to expand its reach abroad without the expense of building new stores in foreign lands.

About half Target’s online assortment is available on the international site — and at the same prices as those offered in the U.S. However, as many Canadians discovered and complained about earlier this fall, the cost of duties and shipping can sometimes be more than the price of the actual product.

Plus, international shoppers can’t take advantage of some of Target’s special promotions, such as free shipping.



Farmers can keep busy at workshops

Cabin fever can set in during Minnesota’s winter weather, especially for farmers used to outdoor work.

So state agriculture officials are offering a number of workshops for farmers on Jan. 7 at St. Cloud’s River’s Edge Convention Center. Sessions will be on winter greenhouses, transitioning from conventional to organic crops, livestock health care and perennial fruits.

Full-day workshops cost $50, and more information is available at mda.state.mn.us/cabinfever.