Target is test-driving a new delivery concept in the Twin Cities for online orders.

As Amazon and other retailers have experimented with their own fleets to have more control over the process, Target will use drivers who contract with its subsidiary Shipt to deliver local online orders.

The retailer has opened a "sortation center" in Minneapolis that serves Minneapolis and St. Paul stores.

Target announced Thursday that it will serve all Twin Cities stores by the end of the month. Orders fulfilled at the stores will be trucked to the center and then sorted by neighborhood. The Shipt drivers — who up until now have fulfilled and then delivered groceries and other orders as personal shoppers — will now have the option to add delivering the orders to customers' doors.

"For years, Target has put our stores at the center of how we serve our guests. Our new sortation center builds on that model by helping us ship online orders with greater speed and lower costs, while making room for future growth," said John Mulligan, the Minneapolis-based retailer's chief operating officer, in a statement.

The sortation center uses technology acquired from Grand Junction and Deliv. Target acquired the technology assets of Deliv last year and Grand Junction and Shipt in 2017.

The company plans to open five more sortation centers by the end of the year. Where they will be and how they will work will be determined in part by the pilot program in Minneapolis, a spokeswoman said.

Catherine Roberts • 612-673-4292