Target Begins Nationwide Rollout of Curbside Returns Service


Target has begun the nationwide rollout of its curbside returns service.

The retailer launched the service at about 500 stores last week, CNBC reported Wednesday (April 26).

Target announced in February that it would begin adding curbside returns this spring and have the service at all its 2,000 locations by the end of summer.

“Allowing our guests to process a return from the comfort of their car underscores our commitment to helping our guests shop — and return — however they choose,” Target Executive Vice President and Chief Stores Officer Mark Schindele said in a Feb. 28 press release.

The company had begun piloting the curbside returns service at select locations a year earlier.

The ability to return goods outside the store complements Target’s curbside pickup service called Drive Up, which has remained popular — with sales delivered via that channel growing 10% during the most recent fiscal year — even after the pandemic, according to the CNBC report.

Consumers use the service to save time and eliminate the fees they would pay if they had the item delivered, the report said.

Some analysts wonder if the chain will lose potential sales by allowing customers to return items without walking through the store, when they might pick up other items to buy, per the report.

However, Target representatives said the service helps build customer loyalty by adding convenience and removing friction from the shopping experience, the report said.

That’s been the case with Drive Up purchases. Customers who use that service also make more purchases inside Target stores over the course of a year than do other customers, according to the report.

Curbside returns also eliminate the retailer’s cost of handling goods returns in the mail, allow the firm to offer the returned items up for sale faster, and differentiate it from some competitors, the report said.

Among other retailers, Dick’s Sporting Goods began adding curbside returns in 2020 and Walmart did so at all of its stores last fall, per the report.

At Walmart, curbside and return pickups from home are offered to Walmart+ members.

“Saving our customers time and money is in our DNA,” Walmart U.S. Executive Vice President and Chief eCommerce Officer Tom Ward said in September.

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