Target Expands Curbside Pickup


Following a beta test in Minnesota, Target is expanding its Drive Up curbside pickup service. By the end of 2018, the retailer plans to introduce the service to nearly 1,000 of its brick-and-mortar stores, TechCrunch reported.

Through the service, customers order products through Target’s app and drive to the store. When they arrive, employees deliver the goods to customers’ cars. Orders are usually ready within an hour after customers place them. The mobile app is available to iOS users and may be available to those with Android-powered devices in April.

The move could be seen as a way to adapt to changes in the retail landscape, spurred by companies such as Amazon. Already, the service has potential to increase sales: The retailer experienced a 10 percent rise in orders with the new service, which has been particularly popular with families, as diapers and household supplies are top sellers.

Walmart, too, has its own version of curbside pickup. Its variation gave consumers around 35,000 items to choose from in 2017 — comparable with in-store selection. After orders are placed online, the customer then meets with their personal shopper at Walmart at a scheduled time.

Those personal shoppers are there, theoretically at least, to bring personalization by not just grabbing items but the version of the items customers actually want (green bananas versus bananas that are extremely ripe, for example).

In 2016, Walmart expanded the service right in Target’s backyard when it launched order online, pickup in-store functionality in Cottage Grove, Oak Park Heights, Monticello and Maple Grove — all stores in the Twin Cities area (a.k.a. the place where Target is headquartered).

The Walmart service is pretty simple: Customers select a local store that offers the service, pick out the items they want and then select a time — including later that same day — to pick up their orders.