Can Target assure customers they’ll be safe shopping for the holidays?
Target is looking to make it easier and safer to shop this holiday season, even as cases of the novel coronavirus continue to climb in most of the U.S. where it has stores.
The retailer is putting in place a host of safety measures for the holiday season to keep traffic flowing inside and outside of its stores while allowing shoppers to shop and associates to work without fear of falling ill.
The new measures, added to others already in place, like a requirement to wear masks, include contactless self-checkout, the ability for customers to reserve a place in line outside of stores and additional parking/pickup spots in its lots for Drive Up service. The retailer’s various same-day delivery (Shipt) and pickup services (in-store and curbside) are central to its plans.
“Year over year, the investments we’ve made in our business and team have made Target the easiest place to shop in America. As we’ve navigated the pandemic, that focus has evolved to ensure we’re also creating the safest place for our guests to shop,” said Target CEO Brian Cornell in a statement. “As we approach the holidays, guests can feel confident in choosing Target — a safe experience, incredible value, and a differentiated assortment that will help them celebrate the joy of the season.”
The retailer plans to enforce capacity limits and social distancing measures in its stores across the U.S. Guests (customers in Target parlance) can visit target.com/line to see if a queue is forming outside their local store and reserve a spot in line. Target will text customers when it is their turn to enter.
Target’s customers will now be able to use the Wallet feature in the chain’s mobile app to avoid having to use a store or roaming associates’ scanners to ring up and pay for their purchases. The retailer’s Wallet includes consumers’ Redcard payment information, Target Circle offers, weekly ad coupons and gift cards in a single place. Target plans to add more associates around its stores with MyCheckout devices to enable customers to avoid checking out at the front-end altogether.
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Is Target moving closer to realizing CEO Brian Cornell’s boast that the chain is the easiest place to shop in the U.S.? How important will its enhanced safety measures be to its sales performance, and where do you see further room for improvement?