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Target takes exclusive approach to expanding online store to more sellers

The retail giant is bringing in third-party sellers on an invitation-only basis.

Target To Raise Minimum Wage As Labor Market Tightens

Target is taking a different approach to third-party sellers.

Justin Sullivan / Getty Images

Target is opening up its website to third-party sellers in a slow, cautious way, according a report.

Sellers can only join the Target+ initiative by invitation, CNBC reported Monday, and the company is being picky about who it brings in.

Target has been testing the waters with companies like sporting goods retailer Mizuno, educational toy maker Kaplan and keyboard giant Casio. They were selected based on "what people are searching for" on Target's site, Rick Gomez, the company's marketing and digital boss, told CNBC.

"Guests look to Target for great products. With Target +, we aim to give them easy access to even more great products by partnering with best-in-class specialty and national brands that will help guests save and get more done in just one stop to Target.com, Gomez said in a separate release.

The third-party items will be listed among the main inventory on Target.com, so you can take advantage of discounts and free shipping offers. The company expects to add more brands in future.

This curated approach is different from that of Amazon and Walmart, where it's pretty easy to apply to be a third-party seller. Their more open policies have led to problems, though. Products promoting white supremacy aimed at kids were reportedly sold on Amazon last summer, while supporters of President Donald Trump got Walmart to remove "Impeach 45" apparel from its site.

Clarification at 7:30 a.m. PT: Target's expansion plan focuses on Target.com, adds comment from Target release.