Target Rolls Out Red Carpet For Weary Holiday Season Shoppers

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Target is pulling out all the stops — including offering to save harried shoppers a place in line — in a bid to keep all-important holiday spending season on track as the coronavirus pandemic drags on.

Target on Thursday (Oct. 22) announced a spate of measures designed to ease shoppers’ coronavirus fears and entice customers back to its stores, including letting customers “make a shopping reservation.”

In particular, customers can go on the Target website, check to see if there is a line outside their local store, and then reserve a spot, the retailer noted in its holiday season game plan for avoiding gridlock in its stores.

Target’s move to help alleviate the concerns of coronavirus-stressed shoppers comes on the heels of a recommendation by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for consumers to avoid crowded stores.

“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,” Target CEO Brian Cornell said in the announcement. “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.”

Target also announced other measures to smooth the holiday season shopping crunch, including contact-free payment at self-checkout stations; a crew of 1,000 employees roaming stores with handheld checkout devices; and roughly 8,000 additional parking spots for customers using the retailer’s drive-up service, a doubling of capacity. In addition, Target is doing away with the need for a barcode scan during drive-up service — customers can instead show their app with their personal ID number.

“We’re investing to make our same-day services faster and safer, so you can get your purchases contact-free in as soon as one hour, no membership fee required,” Target noted.

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